In the arid regions of the Middle East and North Africa, freshwater resources are among the lowest in the world.
In the last 40 years, per capita freshwater resources have decreased by two thirds and are expected to fall over 50 percent by 2050. Yet population figures, and demand for food, are going in the opposite direction.
Food production currently uses around 85 percent of these dwindling freshwater supplies. As climate change advances, bringing hotter and more unpredictable weather, the need to ensure water and food security in the region is becoming critical.
Groundwater – water supplies found in permeable rocks and sediments underground – has historically been an important water source in the MENA region. In Bahrain, Jordan, Oman and Yemen, groundwater contributes more than 50 percent of total water withdrawals.