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Iraq’s Water Crisis: A Prognosis

Shwan Mohammed writes for 1001 Iraqi Thoughts:

The area historically known as Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, is now suffering from an acute water crisis due to climate change and human actions. For the first time in history, millions of Iraqis who utilize the water supplied by the two great rivers Tigris and Euphrates for drinking, irrigation, power generating and transportation, fear a potential threat to these lifelines.

As many researchers have predicted many years ago, Iraq as part of the Middle East and North African countries, is facing a water shortage problem which is expected to be more severe in the future. Water supplies were reported to be 43 billion cubic meters (BCM) in 2015, and are predicted to drop to about 17.61 BCM in 2025, while the water demand is estimated to be between 66.8 and 77 BCM. According to the World Bank, the Iraqi water deficit in 2030 will reach 25.55 BCM (37%) where the expected supply is 44 BCM only. Worse, it is also estimated that the discharge of the Tigris and Euphrates will continue to decrease with time, and that it will be completely dry by 2040.

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