As one of the most volatile, heavily-armed and strategically significant regions on earth, the Middle East constantly engages the attention of world powers, whose foreign policies are often driven by a desire for guaranteed access to oil and for overall stability in the area. This book contends, however, that it is conflicts over the control of water, not oil, which are likely to threaten stability.;Explaining how environmental and political factors are radically affecting the water supply of the three great river systems - the Nile, the Jordan and the Tigris-Euphrates - the book demonstrates that new, often highly unlikely and potentially explosive alliances (between such sworn enemies as Iraq and Syria, for example) are being dictated by the need for water; and how the established power balance can be radically affected when a down-river state fears that its up-river neighbour may turn off the tap. The authors also look at the way in which water underlies many of today's most pressing issues.;John Bulloch has been Diplomatic Editor and Middle East Editor for several national newspapers. His books on the Middle East include "Saddam's War". Adel Darwish is an Egyptian-born investigative journalist who writes on international affairs for "The Independent" and other national newspapers. He was co-author of "Unholy Babylon: the Secret History of Saddam's War".