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Water Shortages Most Extreme In Middle East, African Regions, Report Says

“Water shortages are worst in Africa and the Middle East, and the hardest hit are nations in the Gulf, including Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, according to a study released Wednesday by risk analysis firm Maplecroft,” the Associated Press reports in an article examining the firm’s “Water Stress Index.”

The report, which compares the amount of water available in a country with the demand, “also found that the booming economies of China and India were facing increasing shortages, and parts of Africa with adequate water like Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya could face increasing problems as they lease out huge chunks of farmland to foreign nations,” according to the news service (Casey, 5/17). Maplecroft Analyst Tom Styles said, “This recent phenomenon, dubbed ‘land grab,’ is taking place on a huge scale across many countries in Africa, especially those involved in post conflict reconstruction with poor development,” according to a press release from Maplecroft.

In the report, “[t]he company states that the dual drivers of climate change and population growth will combine to squeeze water resources and affect the food security of governments across the world, regardless of how water secure they may be today,” the release states. The report also includes an interactive map of the index (5/18).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.