The Saudi Arabian government has unveiled a massive pipeline, that will cut off the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in an attempt to prevent a flood from inundating the country.
The Saudi government says the pipeline will cut water-stressed areas in the northern city of Jidda, killing at least 2,000 people, but the project will also destroy more than 100,000 hectares of land.
“The pipeline will be a disaster for Jiddan, for the population and the economy,” said Mohammad al-Hamadani, a senior Saudi political analyst, on Tuesday.
“It will destroy all the homes, all the water and all the land.”
Saudi Arabia has a huge oil and gas sector and is also one of the world’s top producers of natural gas.
However, the country is also facing the effects of the Syrian civil war and has been grappling with its dependence on imported energy.
The country’s energy sector is also suffering as the war in Syria has left tens of thousands dead, while its oil output has fallen significantly, falling to less than 2 million barrels a day (bpd).
“The world’s most important country has failed to live up to its international obligations, and has failed even to meet its own commitments,” said Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin, reporting from the capital, Riyadh.
“Its oil and natural gas industry is now at its lowest level in more than 50 years, and it has not recovered from the devastating effects of war.”