Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Middle East Water Resources - NASA DEVELOP Summer 2016 @ Langley Research Center

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>> RAGHDA: The Middle East, a region with a rich history, strong cultural roots, and

an area which humans have inhabited for thousands of years.

Once part of the Fertile Crescent, this region of the Middle East was one of the most fertile

areas in the world, due to its ideal climate for growing crops, its abundance of natural

water bodies, and regular and predictable seasonal rains.

Currently, the Middle East is home to 6.3% of the global population but it contains only

1.4% of the world's renewable freshwater.

This has led to severe water scarcity in the region as the combination of population growth

and urbanization have led to the over-exploitation of aquifers and the contamination of water


Changes in climate may further decrease availability or accessibility of water resources, which

could result in hindered economic growth and consequently, increased poverty, social instability,

and food insecurity.

>> MICHAEL: One way to increase water resources is rainwater harvesting, which has been implemented

in the region for millennia.

When rainwater comes into contact with a surface, it is directed to a point, where it then flows

into a barrel or cistern.

A network of pipes connects the rain barrels or cisterns to the plumbing in the school,

so that when water is needed for sanitation purposes, the harvested rainwater is used.

>> BRENDAN: The Water Resources Action Project, or WRAP as we refer to it, is a purely volunteer

group of environmental professionals that are utilizing rainwater harvesting systems

in the Middle East to provide impoverished schools and the communities that they operate

within with greater water security.

>> HANNAH: The Middle East Water Resources DEVELOP team at the NASA Langley Research

Center created a precipitation climatology using the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission,

the Global Precipitation Measurement, and other NASA Earth Observations data to quantify

and visualize monthly precipitation rates to identify the locations most suitable for

rainwater harvesting.

In addition, the team created PRiME, the Precipitation Interface for the Middle East.

>> VISHAL: In order to create PRIME, we processed and uploaded precipitation, groundwater, and

evapotranspiration data, as well as the shapefiles for school locations and the study area, into

Google Earth Engine API.

We then used JavaScript to create the graphical user-interface for PrIME, which WRAP and its

partner schools can interact with, by the click of a button.

PrIME can also incorporate new, near real-time data and continue to monitor precipitation

and other important variables to the water cycle in the region.

Finally, from the output data generated by PrIME's graphs, we conducted several statistical

analyses to see if there were any correlations between the modeled climatic variables.

Our analysis of the data demonstrated that the region has experienced a decrease in groundwater,

while rainfall has generally remained fairly constant.

We also found that almost all of the precipitation falls between December and February, and often

there is minimal or no precipitation in the area between April and August.

>> BRENDAN: Having the data of where the stresses of water availability are greatest allows

us to be able to take our limited resources and apply them in the communities where these

schools are suffering from, I think, some of the most dire water shortages.

>> HANNAH: With the help of our tool, WRAP can provide rainwater harvesting materials

where they're needed most.

The Description of Middle East Water Resources - NASA DEVELOP Summer 2016 @ Langley Research Center