The dire state of Anah Lake near the Euphrates River has shed light on Iraq’s ongoing water crisis caused by Türkiye’s construction of dams at the Tigris and Euphrates headwaters.
The Anah Water Center recently disclosed that the lake is rapidly drying up, further highlighting the severity of the situation.
Last Saturday, the 3rd International Water Conference in Baghdad highlighted the difficulties facing the country, especially with the decline in the water levels in the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers.
Experts predict the situation to worsen during the upcoming summer seasons, exacerbating the water scarcity issue.
International reports rank Iraq as one of the most affected by climate change.
On Thursday, Minister of Water Resources Aoun Diab Abdallah said Iraq requires international support to ensure fair and equitable water allocation from neighboring nations that share the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and their tributaries.
Abdallah underscored the difficulties faced by Iraq, especially during the hot summer months, due to a lack of sufficient storage sources for dams and reservoirs.
He asserted the need to face this challenge with courage, adding that the ministry launched several measures to confront this challenge, including efforts to address violations.
During a recent ministerial meeting, it was decided to remove unlicensed fish lakes because they consume large amounts of water, particularly during the summer.
Authorized lakes will also cease operations, redirecting the water supply to irrigate orchards and vegetation, which is crucial for water conservation.
Furthermore, farmers and fish breeders will be encouraged to adopt close pond-rearing methods requiring less water.
The minister revealed some positive developments in negotiations with neighboring countries.
The Turkish delegation has been entrusted with implementing the memorandum of understanding (MoU), signed in 2021, which focuses on enhancing irrigation projects in Iraq, specifically the architecture irrigation project.
Additionally, important projects concerning the Middle Tigris irrigation are being addressed in the agreement with Iran.
The ministry will launch a comprehensive campaign to confront the water shortage. It will be chaired by the minister and backed by the Joint Operations Command under the guidance of the Prime Minister.
At the Water Conference, Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani said water scarcity has profound social and economic implications for Iraq.
He highlighted the urgency of international intervention to save the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from the ongoing water crisis, attributed mainly to climate change.