Iraqi Economists Network

شبكة الاقتصاديين العراقيين

Water & Environmental Issues

Water Security in Iraq, By Dr. Hassan Janabi

Iraq is facing, for the first time in its long history, a serious water shortage problem. Aside from
the seasonal variations in the flows of the Twin Rivers, the Euphrates and Tigris, ancient as well
as contemporary Iraqis have never witnessed such a serious threat to water availability in the
country. Most importantly, the causes of the recent water scarcity were not entirely natural. They
were mostly man-made aggravated by natural occurrence of drought conditions. The most recent
water shortage in Iraq in 2007-2009, is an example where water control structures, including
dams and diversion schemes in neighboring countries, particularly in Turkey and Iran, have
prolonged the drought conditions time, inflicting harm on Iraq’s economy and environment and
forcing the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources to declare to the public that it may not be able to
meet the water requirements for the summer season of 2010

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