ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The lack of an adequate number of dams in the Kurdistan Region is causing an enormous amount of rainfall to go to waste, a water resources director said on Wednesday.
According to Akram Mohammed, the Director for Dams and Water Resources at the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the amount of water that has been saved in dams in the autonomous Kurdish region has only increased by 30 percent compared to last year despite periods of heavy rainfall.
“During the rainy season this year alone, we have failed to store 30 billion cubic meters of fresh water, and it has all gone to waste,” Mohammed told Kurdistan 24.
The water resources director said there are currently 18 dam projects in the Kurdistan Region, with four currently under construction. However, Mohammed said the building of these four “has been put on hold” as the KRG is currently unable to fund the projects.
The autonomous Kurdish government has struggled to adequately fund construction and infrastructure projects since an economic crisis that began in 2014, coupled with an international drop in oil prices and the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Mohammed noted that other countries are considering warnings from experts on a possible worldwide water crisis due to the mismanagement of water and the lack of government intervention to address future complications.
Analysts have long called on governments to implement policies, among others, that raise awareness and incentivize the public to ration their water usage. The KRG has taken initial steps in recent years, but change has been sluggish.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Additional reporting by Diyari Shekha)