Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Water is the "new" Oil!

I have just finished reading a sad new twist to the fate of war torn Iraq, after nearly six years ravaged by strife and the ruination of its infrastructure, a new and even more worrying fate is befalling it's beleaguered inhabitants.

The once mighty Euphrates river, once the "life bringer" to this cradle of civilization is drying up. It's tributaries are now just muddy ditches and the salinity close to the coast has reached such high levels that towns are being evacuated as thousands face drinking water shortages and their animals die.

Has this been widely publicised? For I have not seen any reporting in the run up to this new human tragedy. As if living under a tyrant for so many years was not enough, this new setback just compounds the living hell that has befallen this country. After being used as a battlefield by radical Muslims in their struggle with the west. Now the populace face the threat of massive droughts and power cuts as the river empties and the turbines in the hydro plants stop spinning due to a lack of river flow.

In the marshlands, the people who were subject to some of Saddam's worst atrocities, have a new battle against the dropping water levels, which they seem unlikely to win. This will lead to the subsequent destruction of their culture and way of life, something Saddam never managed to do.

A vast part of the problem, lies in the fact that country's higher up the Euphrates and it's tributaries have been damming and draining the river for their own needs, leading to a massive drop in river flows and water levels in Iraq.

How long can this go on, before military action over water, becomes the next excuse for carnage in the middle east. Is it not time, that the World as a whole, tried to address this problem, for without it, a country which was once a birthplace of civilization, will become nothing more than a stinking arid wasteland!

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