Brookings: How the Syrian Refugee Crisis Affected Transboundary Freshwater

Researchers from Stanford University have demonstrated that the massive flow of people into Jordan due to the Syrian civil war has resulted in an increased flow of water as well. The Yarmouk River, which begins in Syria and terminates at the Jordanian border, has experienced an “unexpected, rapid increase in flow” since 2013, reports Brookings. Upstream Syrian refugees abandoning irrigated agriculture has accounted for approximately half of the increase. The other primary cause of increased downstream flow is Syrian reservoir mismanagement, with “underuse or decommissioning of dams due to targeted military operations and poor operational management.” Still, bilateral water sharing agreements have not been enforced, negatively affecting expected water resources in water-poor Jordan. The effects of large-scale conflict on the environment are complex, but modern technology such as satellites have helped researchers better understand water flows and use. —YaleGlobal

Brookings: How the Syrian Refugee Crisis Affected Transboundary Freshwater

Jordan is adjusting to the dynamic and simultaneous changes in the flow of Syrian refugees and the flow of water
Steven Gorelick, Marc F. Muller and Jim Yoon
Monday, February 27, 2017
Copyright 2017 The Brookings Institution

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