Drought, water flow reduction threatens southern Iraqi areas


The decrease of water flow from the Tigris River has led to the first signs of drought in southern Iraq for 2018, an official said on Saturday.

This year, rainfall has decreased to an unprecedented level compared to past decades, and Turkey seeks to build water dams in its territory which would significantly affect Iraq’s water resources, especially the Tigris River, according to an Iraqi official.

The water resources in the district of al-Majar al-Kabir, and Qal’at Salih town along with the surrounding areas and villages have been “completely stopped” due to the decrease of water flow from the Tigris River, Ahmed Abbas, the Governor of Maysan Province, told local Iraqi al-Sumeriyanews outlet.

Abbas warned of an “environmental disaster” that would threaten the lives of the population in the region, and called on the Iraqi government to “intervene immediately to save people.”

The Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources warned in 2014 that the impact of Turkish dams, including the giant Ilisu dam, would considerably affect Iraq’s water resources due to Baghdad’s dependence on water flowing from Turkey to the Tigris River.

The construction of the Ilisu Dam in Turkey began in August 2006. It is one of the largest dams on the Tigris River and can store an estimated 11.4 billion cubic meters of water.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

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