A new report from the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) warns that the Arab world will face “severe water scarcity” in as little as five years.
By 2015, individuals in the region may be forced to survive on less than 500 cubic meters of water – less than one tenth the global average of 6,000 cubic meters per capita. Per capita water supplies in the Arab region are dangerously low, having dropped 75% from their 1960 levels.
“The Arab world is already living a water crisis that will only get worse with inaction,” the AFED report says. “Without fundamental changes in policies and practices, the situation will only get worse, with drastic social, political and economic ramifications.” Currently, Arab countries account for 13 of the world’s 19 most water-scarce nations.
Regional population is expected to grow to nearly 600 million by 2050, up from 360 million today. Increasing population will add to the already significant strain on the regions’ water supplies.
The effects of climate change may further worsen the situation, and could reduce precipitation by nearly 25% while increasing the rate of evaporation. “As a result, rain-fed agriculture could be threatened, with average yields estimated to decline by 20%,” notes the AFED report. Read more about this growing crisis here…