ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources on Saturday said Iran has deliberately cut water flow to the Lower Zab River in the Kurdistan Region town of Qaladze in Sulaimani Province.
According to a statement from the ministry, the cutting of the river’s water flow has caused locals several problems, the main one being access to a supply of drinking water. The statement noted that the area had not been provided with water on Saturday.
It added that the KRG was in contact with the Iranian consulate in the Kurdistan Region as well as the relevant authorities in an effort to resolve the issue.
Iran has restricted the flow of water to border towns in the past. Most recently, following the Region’s historic independence referendum on Sep. 25 where Tehran limited the water flow to the Lower Zab.
Also known as the Little Zab, the river originates in Iran and joins the Tigris just south of al-Zab in the Kurdistan Region.
The river is approximately 400 kilometers-long (250 miles) and drains an area of about 22,000 square kilometers (8,500 square miles).
In addition to farming, Kurdistan uses water from the Lower Zab to produce electricity, and a decrease in water flow has increased hydro problems in the Region.
The Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Abdulstar Majeed, has complained in the past of a deliberate reduction of water flow to the Kurdistan Region.
Last July, Majeed said Iran had reduced water flow to the Lower Zab by 80 percent.