Written by Ryan Holt, ESLLC 2015-2016
Water is the most important resource on this planet and we are running out of it. The California drought is paled in comparison to what is happening in the Middle East. An ancient ecosystem and indigenous people have been disappearing over the past decade. The Mesopotamian Marshlands of southern Iraq.
‘Marsh Arabs’ have lived there in reed huts spotted throughout the marshes. They survived by spear fishing in clear lakes, raising buffalo, farming rice, or even harvesting dates for both food and trade. This indigenous population lived this way for nearly 5,000 years until this marshy oasis dried up. A mere 10% of the marshland remains and most people are blaming Saddam Hussein. Hussein ordered a massive around-the-clock effort to dry up the marshes by building a 350 mile-long ‘Saddam River’ and ordering the local government to construct a series of canals. All of this was to flush out a few rebel groups who fled and hid in the marshes after the failed uprising.
This example of an ancient and beautiful ecosystem destroyed in an act of war to flush out rebel groups is only the start I fear. From this day forward I think most wars fought, will be over water resources.
As you can see by the predicted graph above from World Resources Institute, the world is facing much worse than rising gas prices in the coming decades. As the world population grows, so does our need for fresh water.