Oil and water don’t mix. But in the desert of Saudi Arabia, they do have something in common. They are both nonrenewable resources.
Almost no agriculture is visible in the 1986 Landsat image of the barren Wadi As-Sirhan basin. Then, in each successive image, more green dots appear in the desert. Each green dot is an agricultural field watered by a center-pivot irrigation system.
Water is pumped from an underground aquifer to irrigate the fields of fruit, vegetables, and wheat. Most of this aquifer, called the al-Disi aquifer, is located under the Saudi Arabian desert, but some of it extends northwest into Jordan. Water scarcity in this region brings the potential for conflict.
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