The Middle East is getting drier due to drought so much so that parts of it are becoming uninhabitable.
One example is Iran’s Lake Urmia, where ferries that once shuttled tourists to and from the little islets, lie rusty, unable to move, on what now resembles a salt plain.
Just two decades ago Urmia was the Middle East’s biggest lake; its local economy thrived in a tourist center of hotels and restaurants.
People would come here for swimming and would use the mud for therapeutic purposes. They would stay here at least for a few days, says journalist Ahad Ahmed.
Lake Urmia has been reduced to less than half its size since the nineteen nineties; going from 5,400km square (2, 085 square miles) to 2, 500 00 kilometers square (965 square miles) today.
But that’s not all; the Euphrates River is drying up as well.
Syrians have been sharing photos of the water level of the Euphrates River on social media, showing how parts of the river have dried up.
Researchers say that at least 60% of the loss is due to pumping of groundwater from underground reservoirs.
In recent weeks the water level of the Euphrates River has decreased dramatically; now it’s causing tensions between Turkish and Syrian forces.
The Kurds in northeast Syria accuse Turkey of reducing the water levels downstream; this has created an agriculture crisis and a major power shortage in the region.
While Turkey denies these allegations engineers claim the water supply from Turkey has fallen from 500 to nearly 200 cubic meters per second.
What’s more; it’s been this way since the beginning of the year.
Is water being weaponized?
It could be; rights groups have accused Turkey of failing to ensure adequate water supplies to SDF-held areas in northeastern Syria.
Where this Leads
Will the Turkish government sever the Euphrates river supply to Syria; a feat made possible by the fact that the Ataturk Dam is built on the river, with a huge reservoir just behind it.
Yes, dam reserves have also been depleted in Turkey due to drought.
The question is a significant one as it will give Turkey an advantage in the region, allowing it’s military to cross the Euphrates on dry land, which is prophesized to happen in the last days.