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The popular myth of 'water wars'

Earlier this month the UN warned that climate change could spark conflicts over water. But the idea of future 'water wars' is a myth, says Wendy Barnaby.

Neither Egypt, Israel nor Jordon produce enough water for their needs. But while they have fought wars with each other, it has not been over water, says Barnaby. Instead, areas in need of water import food as a 'virtual' boost to water supplies. Tony Allan, a scientist at Kings College London, says more water flows into the Middle East embedded in grain each year than down the Nile to Egyptian farmers.