Jordan faces likelihood of much more frequent long and severe droughts

A new analysis of drought in Jordan – one of the world’s most water-poor countries – suggests that without alternate water sources, better land use and improved water-sharing agreements, the country could face a future of potentially disastrous droughts. The research, which was the first to analyze several types of drought and to take into account land use changes in upstream Syria, could inform water policies in other arid countries with shared rivers. “Jordan’s ability to satisfy future urban and agricultural water demands will be stressed by cascading effects on its freshwater supply,” said study co-author Steven Gorelick, the Cyrus Fisher Tolman Professor in Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. “These impacts are from increasingly severe droughts and eventual agricultural land-use recovery in the aftermath of the Syrian civil war.”