Global weather

Iraq water shortage reaching critical level

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
8/02/2018, 12:28:48 PM

Once lush farmlands have turned into dry, barren wastelands as a combination of factors have crippled the region.

A combination of lower-than-normal rainfall in recent years, upstream dams in Turkey, Syria and Iran, and political turmoil within Iraq have combined to create a disastrous situation for thousands of people.

Iraq AP 8/2

In this Saturday, July 28, photo, Qassim Sabaan Ali, 62, stands on on his dry farm caused by high salinity levels in the area of Siba in Basra, 340 miles (550 km) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)

The southern city of Barsa, once known as Venice of the East, has been one of the hardest-hit areas, according to the Associated Press.

Croplands are drying up and salinity levels are rising in the water supplies both killing vegetation and forcing people to purchase all their water for drinking, cooking and bathing.

Iraq AP2 8/2

This Saturday, July 28, aerial photo shows a dry canal full of salt in the area of Siba in Basra, 340 miles (550 km) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)

The region was slowly recovering from years of war in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s; however, any rebuilding has been lost due to the recent economic hardships brought on by the fresh water shortages.

Earlier this year, farming bans were placed on some crops in an attempt to preserve the lingering fresh water reserves of southern Iraq; however, this put further strain on farmers who had no other means of income.

In the midst of the dry season, mother nature is not expected to provide any relief to the water shortage issues in the coming weeks.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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