Climate Change and the Middle East: No Water in the Kingdom of the Two Seas—Nor Elsewhere
There is an oil producing country situated in the Gulf region, made of a cluster of islands. It is small, surface and population wise. But it holds the dubious privilege of ranking top of the list of 14 out of the 33 countries most likely to be water-stressed in the year 2040.
This country is the “Mamlakat Al Bahrain” (the Kingdom of the Two Seas) or simply Bahrain.
Distant only 200 kilometres from Iran, Bahrain’s largest island is linked to Saudi Arabia by the 25 km-long King Fahd Causeway. The Kingdom extends over just 765 km2, and is home to 1,4 million people.
Considered as the “white gold” –as opposed to the “black gold”—oil, water scarcity has become one of the major concerns of Bahrain in spite of the fact that it has a high Human Development Index and was recognised by theWorld Bank as a high-income economy.
It’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita amounts to 29,140 US Dollars. And it is home to the headquarters for the United States Naval Forces Central Command/United States Fifth Fleet.
All the above does not suffice to make Bahrainis happy. In fact, their country leads the list of 14 out of the 33 countries most likely to be water-stressed in 2040 –all of them situated in the Middle East– including nine considered extremely highly stressed according to the World Resources Institute (WRI).