After interviewing a number of scientists at ICARDA (International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas) at Tel Hadya I was struck by the concern about the competition for sparse water resources between the large agricultural sector of the middle east and the rapidly growing and increasingly urbanized human population. With water-mining depleting groundwater resources in many regions, and a projected decreases in annual water balance of about 50 mm due to global warming – the increasing demand for water in urban areas adds extreme difficulty. Today about 70% of water regionally is used by agriculture, but some ICARDA researchers see this shifting to 50% in the future. To give some idea of the situation, consider the population in Syria in 1995 was around 15 million people. Today is is around 20 million and projected to hit 30 million in 2020 (Central Bureau for Statistics, Syrian Arab Republic)…. Many of these people will live in large cites such as Damascus and Aleppo. One can envision many pressures for change in rural farming and pasturalist lifestyles that have existed for millennia.