Iraq Forms Delegation to Negotiate Water Share with Iran, Turkey

The Iraqi Foreign Relations Committee in Parliament formed a special delegation headed by the Minister of Water Resources, Mahdi Rashid Al-Hamdani, to resolve the water file with Iran and Turkey.

The committee’s rapporteur, MP Iqbal Abdul Hussein, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been informed of the formation of the delegation under the direction of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, the Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported.

The negotiations delegation will seek to have serious solutions to releasing the shared water, and not establishing more dams, which have turned a number of regions in Iraq into deserts, as well as cut off a lot of water from agricultural areas,” she added.

The committee stressed on the importance that the negotiating team succeeds in resolving the water crisis and using economic relations “as a means to pressure Iran and Turkey” to resolve the water file.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

The post Iraq to Negotiate Water Share with Iran, Turkey first appeared on Iraq Business News.

By John Lee.

At the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday it was agreed that the Ministry of Planning will finance the replacement of the water channel known as Al-Bada’a canal with a 238-km water pipeline.

According to a government statemet, this will help reduce water scarcity and increase access to safe drinking water in Basra.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

The post New 238-km Water Pipeline to serve Basra first appeared on Iraq Business News.

By Kakalaw Abdulla and Dler Abdulla, for Middle East Eye. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Kurdistan faces water ‘catastrophe’ as Iran cuts off rivers

Iraqi Kurdistan has suffered its fair share of water crises over the decades, but experts warn that a catastrophe is now looming large as Iran blocks major water supplies from the region’s two main rivers – the primary sources of livelihood for nearly two million people.

Click here to read the full article.

The post Kurdistan faces Water ‘Catastrophe’ as Iran cuts off Rivers first appeared on Iraq Business News.

By Omar al-Jaffal for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

What trump cards is Iraq pulling against Turkey to secure water quota?

While temperatures have risen to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in a number of regions of Iraq, the water level in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers have declined recently, which instills a fear of depletion of these two rivers.

Click here to read the full story.

New Report and Webtool Provide Insight into Iraq’s Looming Water Crisis: IOM and Deltares

Iraq faces a complex water crisis that is expected to persist and might have implications at the humanitarian, socioeconomic, security and social levels, including population movements. In July 2019, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in Iraq identified 21,314 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the central and southern governorates who were displaced due to the lack of water associated with high salinity content or waterborne disease outbreaks.

Intake from the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers – Iraq’s primary sources of water – is decreasing at an unprecedented rate. Concurrently, climate change is leading to increasing average temperatures and decreasing annual rainfall, causing further challenges throughout the region. The risk of water shortage-induced displacement of populations in Iraq remains high due to degradation of the quantity and quality of available water.

IOM Iraq and Deltares, an independent institute for applied research in the field of water and subsurface, have published a new report – Water Quantity and Water Quality in Central and South Iraq: A Preliminary Assessment in the Context of Displacement Risk – focused on understanding variations in water quantity and water quality in central and southern governorates over the last two decades.

“Water scarcity is one of the main threats to agricultural communities. Environmental factors are among the drivers of displacement and have witnessed this in governorates like Thi-Qar, Basra, Najaf and Kerbala,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “The evidence presented in this report can inform future actions to mitigate a looming water crisis, that would leave vulnerable communities more at risk.”

The report provides insight for the coming years, and key recommendations to mitigate the water crisis, based on an exploratory model-based analysis.

“As a member of the Water, Peace and Security Partnership, Deltares aims to improve the availability of water data and information to help prevent water crises,” said Karen Meijer, Senior Researcher at Deltares. “Working with IOM has given us the opportunity to tailor our analysis to information needs for preventing and responding to water-related displacement and improve decision support in this area.”

IOM Iraq and Deltares have also launched the Iraq Water Risk Webtool, an interactive webtool that provides insight into variations in water quantity and water quality over time in the central and southern governorates in Iraq. Using data from past years, it explores the impact of different scenarios of water management, climate change, and effectiveness of measures to mitigate these changes. The tool presents Baseline, Water Management, and Climate Change scenarios, each showcasing two series of interactive maps on past and future water availability and water quality.

This study was carried out as part of IOM’s efforts to better understand forced migration as a result of environmental factors, and craft more effective responses. In Iraq, this project is a first step towards better preparedness and response measures – designed by and for vulnerable populations that may be faced with the difficult prospect of climate migration.

The study was funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Deltares’ work under the Water, Peace and Security partnership was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

For more information please contact IOM Iraq’s Public Information Unit, Tel: +964 751 402 2811, Email: iraqpublicinfo@iom.int

(Source: UN)

(Picture credit: Aziz1005)

By Azhar Al-Ruabie for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Basra, the richest city in Iraq with little water to drink

Iraq’s third-largest city, Basra, was once called “Venice of the East” due to the numerous water canals and bridges meandering throughout the entire city.

This description is no longer true, as the Shatt al-Arab (“Stream of the Arabs”) and its branches have become polluted with algae, bacteria, chemical toxins, and waste products from humans, hospitals and factory residuals.

Click here to read the full story.

By Dr Renad Mansour and Glada Lahn, for the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House). Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Same Old Politics Will Not Solve Iraq Water Crisis

Addressing Iraq’s water crisis should be a priority for any incoming prime minister as it is damaging the country’s attempts to rebuild.

But successive governments have allowed the problem to fester.

Click here to read the full story.

By Dr Renad Mansour and Glada Lahn, for the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House). Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Same Old Politics Will Not Solve Iraq Water Crisis

Addressing Iraq’s water crisis should be a priority for any incoming prime minister as it is damaging the country’s attempts to rebuild.

But successive governments have allowed the problem to fester.

Click here to read the full story.

UNICEF partners with the Republic of Korea to provide water and sanitation services for the most vulnerable children in Iraq

Approximately 3 million children and young people across Iraq need humanitarian support as they try to recover from years of conflict and violence.

The Republic of Korea has partnered with UNICEF and contributed US$1 million to provide water and sanitation services to the most vulnerable children living in displacement camps in Anbar, Ninewa and Salah al Din-areas hardest hit by the violence.

Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF’s Representative in Iraq, said:

“An estimated 30 per cent of displaced children live in camps, where humanitarian needs are greatest. The contribution from the Republic of Korea will ensure we are able to continue providing critical services such as safe drinking water as well as maintaining sanitation facilities to promote hygiene and protect children from preventable diseases.”

In addition to the provision of safe drinking water for nearly 60,000 people in the displacement camps, the contribution from the Korea will support the following activities:

  • care and maintenance of the existing water systems including the network, taps, water tanks and water purification units;
  • care and maintenance for the sanitation facilities, including repair of latrines, showers, toilet pans, and septic tanks;
  • waste collection services;
  • dissemination of information, education, and communication materials on water conservation, safe purification and storage of water, and hygiene awareness sessions will take place to help maintain positive practices in the targeted population.

In 2019, the Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Cluster (WASH) co-led by UNICEF and other non-governmental organizations reached over 1.8 million people with safe water in Ninewa, Salah al Din and Anbar.

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

Wageningen University and Research (WUR) will support six Iraqi universities to develop climate-smart agriculture and efficient water management in Iraq.

Together with the Institute for Water Education (IHE) in Delft and ICRA Global, Wageningen researchers will train academic staff and develop knowledge transfer facilities.

Iraq is one of the focus countries of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For that reason, the Ministry asked WUR to explore the opportunities for cooperation in Iraq in 2018. Last year, an high-level Iraqi delegation visited Wageningen to discuss the collaboration. The two-year project will address several issues.

Teaching styles

First, the Dutch participants will try to modernize the outdated teaching styles at the Iraqi universities by incorporating group work and practical work in their curriculum.

Secondly, the project wants to organize joint research programs at the six universities. Each of these universities will send a scientist to Wageningen to write a joint research article about water management and climate-smart agriculture in Iraq.

The participants may also develop massive open online courses (mooc’s) to implement knowledge transfer to other universities and development partners.

Salinity problems

Iraq is recovering from the war against IS. Some universities were damaged, some others face a challenge to collaborate with farmers to combat water shortage or salinity problems in agriculture. For security reasons, the training will be held in The Netherlands and project partners will meet in the safe Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Karrar Mahdi, an Iraqi scientist at the Soil Physics and Land Use Planning group in Wageningen, will coordinate the project. The project has received a budget of 1,3 million euros. One-third of that budget will be spent at WUR to give scientific and educational assistance.

(Source: WUR)