April 22, 2004

Fallujah's Water War?

One of the dogs that hasn't barked in Iraq is the fact that Saddam Hussein diverted an awful lot of water away from the Shiites down south, the so-called marsh arabs. All that diverted water, over a decade, creates a political constituency and anybody who has ever paid attention to water politics anywhere knows that water disputes can turn violent and often do. So who got all that formerly Shiite water and who is deprived of that water now that the marshes are reflooding? It's a zero sum game. For the marsh arabs to have their water restored means that industry, agriculture, and upstream populations must be deprived.

A small clue to what might be happening for arrives courtesy of Defense Link:

While Iraq is laced with antiquities, Fallujah isn't one of them. Just after World War II, the population of the town was around 10,000. The city, about 40 miles west of Baghdad, is on the edge of the desert, and now has about 300,000 citizens. It is a dry and arid landscape, made productive only because of extensive irrigation from the nearby Euphrates River.

So if you map the diversion of water under Saddam for political reasons, the growth in those areas where such water was diverted, and who's losing water now that there's new management, how much of a correlation is there to centers of resistance to the occupation? How much is this all a water war?

HT: Belmont Club

Posted by TMLutas at April 22, 2004 10:29 PM