The Stream, August 24, 2021: As Fuel Crisis Continues, Two-Thirds of Lebanon Face Water Shortages


  • Four million people in Lebanon could face a water shortage as a fuel crisis causes rolling blackouts.
  • Hurricanes Henri and Grace batter the S. East Coast and Mexico, respectively.
  • New research out of Australia finds that water levels on the southern part of the Murray Darling Basin are rapidly declining.
  • Egypt is considering major seawater desalination projects to offset the negative effects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Water supplies throughout the Middle East are running dry.

“Both declining rainfall and increasing demand in these countries are causing many rivers, lakes, and wetlands to dry up.” – Charles Iceland, the global director of water at the World Resources Institute. CNN reports that water supplies across the Middle East are running dry. Climate change, water mismanagement and overuse paint a grim future for many parts of the region.


In Case You Missed It:

HotSpots H2O: In Malaysia, the Mah Meri Resist Eviction from Coastal Homeland – A proposed beach resort dubbed a “world-class eco-city” is threatening to evict Mah Meri families from one of their oldest coastal towns, what is today known as Bagan Lalang. 

What’s Up With Water – August 23, 2021 – This week’s episode of What’s Up With Water covers Afghanistan’s troubled water sector, water availability in the United States amid the pandemic, and an African nonprofit claiming that the textile and apparel industry is poisoning rivers with polluted wastewater.

Hurricanes Henri and Grace Batter U.S. East Coast, Mexico

Hurricane Henri battered the U.S. East Coast this weekend, the Independent reports. In New York City’s Central Park, the storm brought 4.5 inches (11.4 centimeters) of rain on Saturday, breaking a record from 1888. On Sunday, after Henri downgraded to a tropical storm, more than 100 New Jersey residents were evacuated from their homes in the city of Helmetta.

According to reporting from The Yucatan Times, Hurricane Grace made landfall in Mexico two separate times in the last five days. The storm system first touched down on the Yucatan Peninsula Thursday, before retreating to open waters. It moved inland again on Saturday, this time towards Veracruz, causing flash flooding and wind speeds up to 80 mph.



New research from the University of Technology Sydney found that water levels in rivers in the southern part of Australia’s Murray-Darling basin have declined rapidly since the 1990s, ABC reports. The research found that on the Murrumbidgee River alone, water levels dropped by about 30 percent during the growing season of April to May. Although federal officials continue to assure the public the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is on track to meet a 2024 deadline for recovering water availability, basin irrigators say the targets may not be met and fear more water buybacks.


A fuel crisis in Lebanon could threaten the water supplies of more than four million of the country’s six million people, UNICEF warned. Reuters reports that a financial meltdown over the last two years has hit a low point in Lebanon. As a lack of fuel oil and gasoline continues to cause extensive blackouts, hospitals and health centers have been cut off from access to safe water.


Egypt is considering taking on major seawater desalination projects that could increase the country’s water resources as a controversial Ethiopian dam threatens to cut the country’s supply from the Nile River. According to Al-Monitor, Egypt has received bids from 60 major international companies to implement desalination projects, which experts say are critical to keeping pace with the country’s population growth and urban expansion.

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