Across Daraa province, groundwater is receding deeper into the earth. On top of climate factors like rising temperatures and fluctuating or delayed rainfall, human activity is taking a toll: Thousands of unlicensed wells have been drilled in recent years due to a lack of state oversight and a struggling public water network.
In 2017, Damascus cut off the main supply of water to the northern Aleppo city of al-Bab. Every year since, finding safe water for drinking and agriculture has grown increasingly difficult. This year was the worst yet, and the city’s stopgap solutions are growing less effective.
In May, UNICEF abruptly reduced the water supply to Rukban camp, in Syria’s southern desert. Feeling abandoned by the international community, local groups and Syrian aid organizations are stepping in to relieve the parched camp.
The wheat harvest is starting in northeast Syria amidst a regional drought. Local farmers expect very poor yields, which will have dire consequences as nearly 60% of Syrians are already food insecure.