Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Politics of Water

Graphic from Alyson Hunt/NPR (Source: United Nations Environmental Program)

Drought conditions in Syria, Iraq, and southeastern Turkey continue to create water refugees out of the hundreds of thousands of people in the region who depend on the flow of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers to maintain their agricultural existence. As National Public Radio reporter Deborah Amos explores in a two-part series, the water crisis results not only from climate/weather conditions, but also Turkey's control of the headwaters of the two rivers and all three countries' mis-management/waste of the supply. In September, Turkey promised to release more than 400 cubic meters of water per second following complaints from Iraqi officials that the supply was fluctuating to at times less than 200 cubic meters per second. Yigal Schleifer covered the water dispute on his blog, Istanbul Calling, last September.

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