This verse tells us the sixth angel poured his bowl
on the river Euphrates.
The contents of the bowl caused the river to dry up. Prior bowl judgments have either corrupted or destroyed most of the water on earth
This judgment is not about corrupting or removing the use of this water. Rather, it seems to be about
removing a barrier used for defensive purposes:
preparing the way for invading kings from the east.
'With His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River”
Seems to reference to a coming drought which will cause not only a reduction in the water flow, if not a complete drying up of those rivers, but will at the same time entice the countries controlling those dams to look after their own interests by completely stopping water from being released out of them.
Iran and Turkey are building big dams to solve their own lack of water, but regional cooperation on the issue is patchy. Iraqi officials said the Daryan dam across the border in Iran is diverting parts of the Sirwan back into Iranian lands through a 48 km (29 mile)-long tunnel. Iranian officials declined to comment on the allegation. Iran has said the dam is still being built.
Local Iraqi villagers say they have felt the impact of reduced volumes from Iran for two years, complaining that the fall has had a punishing effect on communities downstream especially during increasingly frequent years of drought.
"It's been two years since I had to stop fishing",
fisherman Ahmed Mahmud told Reuters from the nearby village of Imami Zamen. With the river drying up, most of the village's 70 families have already left. The primary school closed.
"If it continues like this, we will have to leave as well", he said.
The Sirwan begins in Iran and runs along its border with Iraq before flowing into Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and then on south to join the Tigris. Once abundant, it's now dotted with measuring poles showing where water once reached. Iraq's water crisis has been in the making for nearly two decades. Outdated infrastructure and short-term policies made Baghdad vulnerable to climate change and lower flows from Iran and Turkey, source of about 70% of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Iraqi water ministry spokesperson Aoun Dhiab told Reuters that from June, water flows from Iran and Turkey had halved. The Turkish Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Negotiations with Turkey on how much water it will allow downstream to Iraq are difficult, but at least they are taking place, Iraqi officials say. In contrast, there are no talks on the subject with Iran, which in the last three decades has contracted the construction of at least 600 dams nationwide. Musa said Iran occasionally released water to Iraq. "But we don't know (in advance) when and how much", he said.
Iraqi water officials last June attempted without success to have a meeting with Tehran to discuss water shortages and seek information about Iran's water management strategy.
"We do get information using satellite imagery, on the status of dams and the size of reserves, whether in Turkey or Iran. But we would prefer to get it through diplomatic channels", Dhiab told Reuters. At a summit in Baghdad on August 28, Middle East countries including Iran discussed regional cooperation, but the issue of regional water policies didn't make it on to the agenda.
"We avoided controversial topics that pit them against each other, such as water", said an Iraqi diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not allowed to speak to media. Bodies of water all over North America are drying up as a result of drought and a decrease in precipitation.
Earlier this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that the 22-year megadrought affecting the West would not only intensify but also move eastward. That prediction appears to be coming into fruition, with about 82% of the continental U.S. currently showing conditions between abnormally dry and exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Decreasing water levels along the Mississippi River, one of the most important trade routes in the country, have been causing ripple effects worldwide.
Earlier this month, barges with shipping containers began idling along the sandbars of the river that previously contained ample water.
Waters along the Mississippi have receded so much that a ferry that likely sunk in the late 1800s or early 1900s was discovered near Baton Rouge, last month. Much of the region surrounding the Mississippi River is experiencing conditions between abnormally dry and severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The Mississippi River at Memphis, Tennessee, hit its lowest level in recorded history on Monday, with several other gauges at risk to break records as well.
Supply chain delays for goods like grains, cement and fuel, which travel through New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico, could be a consequence of a dried-up Mississippi, experts say.
"What happens is, commercial vessels have trouble, have obstacles popping up," Deason said. "Waters used to be so deep, it didn't make a difference for navigation." Ripple effects will include inflation and the prices of food and goods increasing, Deason added. The Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the world and largest terminal lake in the Western Hemisphere -- is continuing to lose its volume at alarming rates.
By 2017, the lake had lost half of its water since the first settler arrived in 1847, according to a study published in Nature Geoscience. It is now one-third of its original capacity and has reached unsustainable levels, researchers told PBS.
The loss of water in the lake, which is now at its lowest levels ever, is already causing a dangerous ecological ripple effect throughout Utah, and it will likely get worse, scientists told ABC News in July. More than 800 square miles of river have been exposed as a result of the dry-up.
"I don't know how much time we have," Joel Ferry, the director of Utah's Department of Natural Resources.
While most of the decline is attributed to development in the region, resulting in large population increases, climate change and drought are to blame as well, according to researchers.
Animals and plants near the lake are already bearing the burden of the dry-up, Kyle Stone, a wildlife biologist for the state of Utah, told ABC News. The salinity in the water is increasing as water levels drop, killing algae, a source for brine shrimp, which serves as food for more than 10 million birds that stop at the lake during their migration patterns, Stone said.
In addition, if the lake were to dry out, dust storms would be a great concern due to the decades of heavy metals and toxic substances that remain trapped in the sediment, scientists said. Tens of thousands of dead salmon wash up in Canada Researchers in British Columbia happened upon a disturbing sight when monitoring salmon populations in the Neekus River in the Heiltsuk territory amid the spawning season earlier this month.
Once the scientists got there, they discovered about 65,000 dead pink salmon on the banks of the dried-up creek instead. The smell was so bad that it was burning the researchers' noses and eyes, forcing them to cover their faces, Allison Dennert, an ecologist at the Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.
"It was the worst mass mortality of salmon, pre-spawn salmon, that I've ever seen,"
Little rain has fallen in the region, which has been experiencing high temperatures in recent months-- a continuation of an atmospheric ridge that has been plaguing the Pacific Northwest with record-breaking temperatures.
The large school of fish may have been fooled by a single rain shower that coincided with high tide, making their way upstream in an attempt to spawn for the season, the researchers said.
The tens of thousands of fish eventually sucked up all of the oxygen in the low water levels of the creek. Once they were rendered immobile and began to die off, the ammonia left in the water exacerbated the mass death event.
More than 70% of the salmon had not had the opportunity to spawn before water levels in the creek dropped, Dennert tweeted on Oct. 4.
"I would say it's pretty safe to say this is a consequence of climate change," Dennert said.
Stunning images out of Nebraska shed light into the harsh reality of the consequences of diminishing amounts of snow pack.
The Platte River in central Nebraska, which is fed by snow melt from the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming and Colorado that feed into Lake McConaughy, has not had a chance to replenish as less and less snow falls over the winter.
Photos of a portion of Interstate 90 near Kearney, Nebraska, show a completely dehydrated river bed under a bridge that was previously filled with river water. More than a third of the Pratte River is in extreme or worse conditions, with precipitation outlooks for the fall forecast to be dry, the Drought Center tweeted
Irrigation has depleted most of the reservoirs in the northeast and southwest Nebraska, which are both in extreme drought, KLKN, the ABC affiliate in Lincoln, Nebraska, reported. Widespread areas around the state have been "quite dry and quite warm" since early July, causing water demand and usage for crops to increase dramatically, Brian Fuchs, climatologist for the National Drought Mitigation Center, told KLKN.
While it is not unusual for the river to go dry during the irrigation season, experts are monitoring the river downstream of Columbus as an indicator of the overall health of the river, Jason Farnsworth, executive director of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program, told KLKN.
"If down below the Loup River, you have no flow, that’s sort of a really big deal," Farnsworth said.
As the megadrought in the West persists, the reservoirs providing water to households and the vast agriculture industry are getting dangerously low.
Water supplies along the Colorado River and the two largest reservoirs in the country that it supplies -- Lake Mead and Lake Powell -- are continuing to recede.
Further west, reservoirs in California as drying up as well, Pablo Ortiz, climate and waters scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told ABC News. Lake Oroville and Lake Shasta, the two biggest reservoirs in the state, are barely above 30% capacity, and every major reservoir in California except for one is below the historical average, according to the California Department of Water Resources.
In addition, more than 60% of monitored groundwater wells in California are below normal conditions, and more than 21% are currently experiencing historically low levels, Ortiz said. Workers who are drilling into groundwater wells have told Ortiz that groundwater levels in some regions have dropped up to 10 feet, Ortiz said.
"This impacts hundreds of communities that depend on groundwater as their primary source of drinking water," as well as the agriculture industry, he said.
And while the U.S. and North America continue to witness water levels dropping in crucial rivers, lakes and reservoirs, a mixture of climate change and poor water management policies are causing similar events all over the world, experts told ABC News.
"Rivers all over the world are running really low," especially the Tigress and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq, as well as significant bodies of water in countries like Italy, Romania, France and China, Jonathan Deason, professor of the Environmental and Energy Management Program at George Washington University.
The Bible tells us that the Euphrates and the Nile will one day dry up. When that happens, great hardship and suffering will be experienced by those relying on the waters of these rivers.
In Egypt, nearly eighty percent of the population is to be found living within a short distance of the banks of the Nile, relying on its water for commerce and sustenance. While not as devastating, many people in Syria and Iraq would also face extreme hardship should the Euphrates dry up.
In Revelation 16:12 we read:
12The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its waters were dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.
In Isaiah we read:
19: 5 -6 5The waters of the river will dry up, and the riverbed will be parched and dry. 6The canals will stink; the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up. The reeds and rushes will wither, (NIV)
The following few verses from Isaiah 19 have been added to show the utter devastation that will occur when the Nile dries up.
7also the plants along the Nile, at the mouth of the river. Every sown field along the Nile will become parched, will blow away and be no more, 8The fishermen will groan and lament, all who cast hooks into the Nile; those who throw nets on the water will pine away. (NIV)
11 :15 The Lord will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt; With His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River, And strike it in the seven streams, And make men cross over dry-shod. (NKJV)
Interestingly, the NIV names the river as the Euphrates. Thus in the NIV it seems that both the “gulf of the Egyptian Sea” and the Euphrates are dealt with simultaneously, while in the NKJV it appears to refer only to the Nile. There seems to be some uncertainty as to what is meant by the “tongue of the sea of Egypt” (NKJV) and the “gulf of the Egyptian Sea” (NIV). We ask: “Is it perhaps the Nile Delta with all its canals”?
Nearly ninety percent of the Euphrates’ water has its source in mountains in Turkey. As far back as the 1930’s Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, came up with the idea of utilizing the waters of the Euphrates and Tigris, the latter also having most of its source there, for irrigation and hydroelectric purposes. After a number of delays, the project to dam up the waters of the Euphrates and Tigris began in the 1980’s. The project involved the building of over twenty dams, the largest being the Ataturk dam. Once completed the project was capable of doubling Turkey’s irrigable farmlands. In the late 1980’s when the Ataturk dam was being filled, Turkey stopped the flow of water into the Euphrates for four days, showing how easily they could stop it flowing completely. Syria and Iraq have already raised concerns about the effects of the reduced flows; soil erosion and increased salinity in irrigated areas amongst other problems. Clearly in times of great national need, it would seem that Turkey would not hesitate in diverting all the water towards its own needs.
Egypt faces a similar situation because Ethiopia is currently building a massive dam on the Blue Nile, which accounts for eighty percent of the water flowing into the Nile downstream. The massive Aswan dam is not in contention here, as it is fully under Egyptian control, although about 10% to 12% of the annual flow of the Nile is lost to evaporation because of the vast surface area of the dam. The waters of the dam in Ethiopia will be used primarily for electricity generating purposes, although there is talk of making Ethiopia more “water resilient” by using the dam for storage purposes and irrigation schemes. Through this dam, which is due for completion in 2017, Ethiopia will be able to limit the flow of water into the Nile and, as could happen in Turkey, may well completely stop the flow of water from the dam in times of great national need.
As of now, these rivers have never dried up, so these scriptures clearly refer to a future time when, for His purposes, God will cause them to cease flowing. God’s main purpose at that time will be His judgment on mankind, especially upon those who refuse to recognize and worship Him.
It is worth mentioning here that God used Darius to defeat Belshazzar and take Babylon by diverting the flow of the Euphrates, but that was a temporary strategy and the river did not dry up completely.
(Daniel 5:30, Isaiah 44:28 – 45:1-4.)
The Euphrates is called "the great river" five times in Scripture. It was the eastern boundary of Israel's inheritance (Deuteronomy 1:7; 11:24). To some extent the river provided protection for Israel because it was difficult to cross and a wilderness to the west separated it from Canaan, the Promised Land. It flows almost 2,000 miles toward Palestine before making its way southeast to the Persian Gulf. In the first century, when Revelation was written, the Euphrates divided East from West, and the kingdoms of China and India lay beyond it to the east.
Centuries earlier, the armies of Cyrus of Persia conquered Babylon by diverting the Euphrates that flowed through the city. They were able to march into Babylon on the dry river bed and capture the city. In the great tribulation, the eastern invader will cross the Euphrates, march through Babylon, and enter Palestine.
The region once known as the Fertile Crescent is on the verge of a food crisis as the main sources of water disappear. Officials struggle to cope as a prophetic scenario appears to materialize.
Iraqi officials are reporting that for three consecutive years, the rainy season has begun later and ended sooner than the historic norm. This has been coupled with less water flowing through its two main rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. The region has also been plagued by ongoing conflict.
"Desertification now threatens almost 40% of the area of our country - a country that was once one of the most fertile and productive in the region," Iraq's President Abdul Latif Rashid told the climate summit in Egypt last week.
Nadhir Al-Ansari, professor at Sweden's Lulea University of Technology, told Reuters that rainfall in Iraq had declined by 30% over the past three decades, with the lowest precipitation coming in the last two years.
"What was once known as the Fertile Crescent started to die about 35 years ago," he said.
Officials accuse Turkey of cutting the river's flow upstream over the last two years to half the level it committed to in a 1987 accord, a claim the Turkish government denies.
In the year to September, rainfall in southeast Turkey where the rivers originate was 29% below the average of the previous three decades, according to Turkey's meteorological agency. Dams and drought have reduced the waters of the two rivers to about 20% of previous levels.
All these elements combined have led to a food crisis in the region. Almost 90% of rain-fed crops, mostly wheat and barley, failed this season, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Iraq.
The 1,700-mile-long Euphrates is the main source of drinking water as well as powering three hydroelectric plants that produce electricity for about three million people in Syria. Two dams in northern Syria face imminent closure which would leave about three million people without any access to electricity.
The water level at the Tishrin Dam, the first into which the river falls inside Syria, has dropped five meters and is currently about ten centimeters above "dead level" when the turbines stop producing electricity.
The Euphrates figures prominently in the Bible with it being described as bordering the Garden of Eden.
"The name of the third river is Tigris, the one that flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. "Genesis 2:14
It was also named as one of the borders of the land God granted to Abraham's descendants.
"On that day Hashem made a covenant with Avram, saying, "To your offspring I assign this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates:" Genesis 15:18
The prophet Jeremiah described how the waters of Babylon, the region currently including Syria and Iraq, would dry up as a punishment for their idolatrous practices, the devastation being so complete as to render the region, once part of the so-called 'fertile crescent', uninhabitable.
Christian eschatology foresees the River Euphrates drying up in the Book of Revelation Chapter 16 and playing an
important role in the march of
the Kings of the East upon the Middle East.