7 million Iraqis at risk of losing access to water in coming years: Ministry

Aside from the adverse effects climate change has on the country, Iraq also faces reduced water supplies from the construction of dams by neighboring Turkey and Iran.
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A dried-up irrigation canal in Iraq's southern Nasiriyah province. (Photo: Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP)
A dried-up irrigation canal in Iraq's southern Nasiriyah province. (Photo: Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq's Minister of Environment Jassim Abdul Aziz al-Falahi announced on Wednesday that as many as seven million Iraqis are at risk of losing access to water in the coming years. 

Seven million Iraqis may face water shortages due to pollution and Iraq's neighbors' ongoing "water policies", al-Falahi told the "Capacity Development on Iraq's Water Diplomacy" workshop. The workshop was held in cooperation with UKaid and the United Nations Development Program. 

Aside from the adverse effects climate change has on the country, Iraq also faces reduced water supplies from the construction of dams by neighboring Turkey and Iran. The livelihoods of farmers and villagers are increasingly threatened by water shortages, which is essential for irrigation and livestock. 

Low precipitation and increased evaporation of the water reservoirs due to rising temperatures have also decreased wheat production in the country. Iraq's Ministry of Agriculture expects to produce half a million tons less wheat in 2022 than in 2021.