Water Tension In Iraq

Via TerraDaily, a report on Kurdistan’s dam building initiatives that are causing tensions in the area.  As the article notes:

“…Authorities in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan area are building 11 dams and plan dozens more, the region’s agriculture minister said Thursday, a move that could raise tensions over water.

“There are 11 dams now under construction,” Jameel Sulaiman told AFP. “We have studies and designs to build 28 more,” he added.

He said the dams currently under construction in three provinces of Kurdistan were “small and medium size,” with storage capacities ranging between one million cubic metres (35 million cubic feet) to 10 million cubic metres.

He added that four were being built in Arbil, five in Sulaimaniyah and two in Dohuk, but did not say when they would be completed.

“We are building these dams in order to develop the agriculture sector in the region, and for water storage, because Iraq has suffered droughts for the past several years,” Sulaiman said.

Water is a major source of tension in Iraq, especially between the Kurdistan region and other provinces.

In the multi-ethnic Kirkuk province, Arab farmers accuse the Kurdistan region of ruining them by closing the valves to a dam in winter.

A growing water deficit and dams built by Iraq’s neighbours have significantly reduced the water flow in a country that was until the late 1950s a breadbasket of the Arab world.

A UN factsheet in October 2010 showed that while more rain fell in 2009 compared with 2008, the water situation in Iraq is still critical. Rainfall is now 50 percent below average.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 25th, 2011 at 8:49 am and is filed under Iraq.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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