For those of you that believe the Bible and I know many of you do you may find the following interesting.


Revelation 16:12 (King James Version)

12And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.



Drought and water policies drying up Euphrates River
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
The New York Times
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An Iraqi boy plays in a dried section of the Euphrates River near the village of Jubaish. A two-year drought and dams in neighboring Turkey and Syria are worrying officials in Iraq. NYT/Moises Saman
NYT/Moises Saman
An Iraqi boy plays in a dried section of the Euphrates River near the village of Jubaish. A two-year drought and dams in neighboring Turkey and Syria are worrying officials in Iraq. NYT/Moises Saman




JUBAISH, Iraq — Throughout the marshes, the reed gatherers, standing on land they once floated over, cry out to visitors in a passing boat.

"Maaku mai!" they shout, holding up their rusty sickles. "There is no water!"

The Euphrates is drying up. Strangled by the water policies of neighboring Turkey and Syria, a two-year drought and years of misuse by Iraq and its farmers, the river is significantly smaller than it was just a few years ago. Some officials worry that it could soon be half of what it is now.

The shrinking of the Euphrates, a river so crucial to the birth of civilization that the Book of Revelation prophesies its drying up as a sign of the end times, has decimated farms along its banks, left fishermen impoverished and depleted riverside towns as farmers flee to the cities looking for work.

It is a crisis that threatens the roots of Iraq’s identity, not only as the land between two rivers but as a nation once known as the largest exporter of dates in the world, one that once supplied German beer with barley and that takes patriotic pride in its expensive Anbar rice.

Now Iraq is importing more and more grain. Farmers along the Euphrates say, with anger and despair, that they may have to abandon Anbar rice for cheaper varieties.

Droughts are not rare in Iraq. But drought is only part of what is choking the Euphrates and its larger, healthier twin, the Tigris.

The most frequently cited culprits are the Turkish and Syrian governments. Iraq has plenty of water, but it is a downstream country. There are at least seven dams on the Euphrates in Turkey and Syria, according to Iraqi water officials, and with no treaties or agreements, the Iraqi government is reduced to begging its neighbors for water.

But many U.S., Turkish and even Iraqi officials say the real problem lies in Iraq’s own deplorable water management policies.

Leaky canals and wasteful irrigation practices squander the water, and poor drainage leaves fields so salty from evaporated water that women and children dredge huge white mounds from sitting pools of runoff.

Along the river, there is no shortage of resentment at the Turks and Syrians.

But there is also resentment at the Americans, Kurds, Iranians and the Iraqi government, all of whom are blamed. Scarcity makes foes of everyone.


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