Warnings of a “water disaster” that could happen in Iraq

Warnings of a “water disaster” that could happen in Iraq

Posted, 10/7/2020 20:28

Warnings of a water disaster that could happen in IraqAyna News – Follow up

Experts warned that the drop in oil prices and the deflation resulting from the Corona virus are harmful to the Iraqi economy, which leads to erosion of drinking water supplies and may lead to more tensions.

And they said that the work of hospitals exacerbates the pollution of wastewater, while the percentage of sewage and chemicals that are thrown into rivers, especially in southern Iraq, increases, which may increase the suffering of families who depend on bottled water to bear their costs, in light of the declining economy.

“There are layers, layers and layers of problems,” said Azzam Alloush, founder of Nature Iraq, an environmental organization that helped rehabilitate the marshes of southern Iraq.
He called for efforts to help Iraqis understand the seriousness of the water shortage looming, and to start awareness campaigns. He said: “What is required is political will.”

He concluded, “It is a matter of the fact that people must understand that the problem is around the corner, and if we do not address it now, it may be too late.”
The water security expert at the Klingendel Institute Tobias von Lossow, a Dutch research center for international relations, said that the water infrastructure of the conflict-torn country had been deteriorating for decades as a result of neglect and wars.

He added that building new dams for decades in Turkey, Syria and Iran led to the suffocation of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which fed Iraq with water over thousands of years until it was called Mesopotamia.
He added that climate changes contributed to high temperatures and reduced rainfall, which raised fears of a shortage of water, while the Corona pandemic hampered official efforts to deal with these threats and drained the country’s financial resources.
Von Luceau said that the drop in oil prices, in particular, is “an existential financial threat to Iraq,” as the country’s economy is expected to decline by 9 to 10 percent this year.

Kurdish journalist Khaled Suleiman, who published a book earlier this year on water issues in Iraq, believes that the growing water shortage could further destabilize the country, which “faces a serious crisis with water.”
He added that the shortage is already pushing many Iraqi villagers to leave towards the major cities “because there is no way to live” as the water supply dries up.
He said that some societies there are fighting the Corona virus and water-borne diseases at the same time.
He warned that “all of this could put Iraq on the edge of the abyss”, especially with expectations of a doubling of the population by the year 2080.

Said communications officer in the Planetary Security Initiative Maha Yassin, a group of think tanks working on security issues, born in the city of Basra, where The average summer temperatures are over 45 degrees Celsius. Young people “just want to get tap water in their homes, and some air conditioning during the summer.”

In some cases, she warned, families in the region already spend 50 euros ($ 56) a month on bottled or filtered water, but as people lose their jobs during the downturn, getting enough water is likely to become more difficult.