In Brief

Earth's water-stressed nations are borrowing against the future, as rising populations use stocks faster than they are replaced.

This article titled “Water use in China and the Middle East is an environmental Ponzi scheme” was written by Damian Carrington, for The Guardian on Monday 27th June 2011 16.34 UTC

Find water and you find life. This simple maxim guides scientists searching distant planets for aliens. But if the astrobiologists were to reverse their telescopes and look at our own globe, they would find a conundrum: billions of people living in places with little or no water.

That unsustainable paradox is now unravelling before our eyes in the Middle East and north Africa. The 16 most water-stressed states on Earth are all in that troubled region, with Bahrain at the top of the ranking from risk analysts Maplecroft. Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia and Syria follow not far behind.

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