TIGRIS and EUPHRATES RIVERS ARE DRYING UP
Middle East river basin has lost Dead Sea-sized quantity of water
Already strained by water scarcity and political tensions, the arid Middle East along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is losing critical water reserves at a rapid pace, from Turkey upstream to Syria, Iran and Iraq below.
Unable to conduct measurements on the ground in the politically unstable region, UC Irvine scientists and colleagues used data from space to uncover the extent of the problem. They took measurements from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites, and found that between 2003 and 2010, the four nations lost 144 cubic kilometers (117 million acre feet) of water – nearly equivalent to all the water in the Dead Sea. The depletion was especially striking after a drought struck the area in 2007. Researchers attribute the bulk of it – about 60 percent – to pumping of water from underground reservoirs.
The above excerpt is from EarthSky Feb 12/13. To read the full article go to http://earthsky.org/science-wire/middle-east-river-basin-has-lost-dead-sea-sized-quantity-of-water