Tigris, Euphrates drying up?

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WASHINGTON – US satellites have detected a large loss of fresh water reserves in the Tigris and Euphrates river basins during a seven-year period beginning in 2003, a new study has found.

The river basins, which water parts of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, have lost almost as much water as is in the Dead Sea, the study found.

“That’s enough water to meet the needs of tens of millions to more than a hundred million people in the region each year, depending on regional water use standards and availability,” said Jay Famiglietti, the lead investigator.

The study, which is to be published Friday in the journal Water Resources Research, was conducted by scientists at the University of California at Irvine, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

It relies on data gathered over a seven year period by NASA’s GRACE satellites, which track global…

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