Middle East is getting drier because of climate change, impelling people to replace lost rain water with underground fossil or aquifer water that cannot be replaced. From 2003-2009, enough of this aquifer water was permanently drained off to meet the needs of 100 million people. Some Middle East specialists are afraid that wars over water are the next big thing in the region.
About the Author
Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment and Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires. Follow him at @jricole.