Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Saudi Arabia water supply could affect US security

PR Web: Fresh water security in Saudi Arabia is dangerously precarious, warns L. DeWayne Cecil, Ph.D., a former global climatologist and Atmospheric Scientist for NASA and NOAA. A two-year drought could throw this mostly desert country into chaos, which could pose a threat to the many countries dependent on Saudi oil to drive their economies.      

Cecil made the comments during a recent interview on the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water® syndicated radio show on VoiceAmerica and Apple iTunes.

According to Dr. Cecil, Saudi Arabia has 27 million people and 2013 was the world’s number two petroleum producer, after Russia and slightly ahead of the United States. The US is pro
jected to become number one in 2015 (Lawler, A., “US to become world’s top oil producer in 2015,” MSN News, 11-13-13).

Despite having the world’s 19th largest economy, says Cecil, Saudi Arabia faces many challenges. According to Cecil, only 0.7% of their land surface is fresh water, compared to 13.5% in New York State. Saudi Arabia has no year-round rivers and almost no lakes. One-percent of Saudi land is arable compared to 16% in the United States (“Saudi Arabia,” CIA World Factbook, 2013).

Sharon Kleyne observed that the Saudi fresh water supply is precarious and sporadic, with frequent service interruptions. Fifty-percent of their fresh water, Kleyne explained, comes from desalinization plants and 10% comes from surface water capture. The other 40% comes from the mining of non-renewable ground water. According to Dr. Cecil, four-fifths of the ground water reserve has already been mined (Elie Elhadj, “Household water and sanitation services in Saudi Arabia,” Water Research Group, U. of London, 2004)....

Musk Lake in Saudi Arabia, where the sewage from Jeddah is pumped. Shot by Yousef Raffah, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license 

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