A Worsening Water Crisis Is Threatening Iraq’s Future

A Worsening Water Crisis Is Threatening Iraq’s Future
A farmer adjusts an irrigation pump in the town of Mishkhab, south of Najaf, Iraq, June 26, 2018 (AP photo by Anmar Khalil).

The many ongoing challenges in Iraq—from political upheaval and COVID-19 to plummeting oil prices and the resurgence of the Islamic State—often overshadow the precarious state of the country’s water resources, even though water shortages are exacerbating many of those very issues. Studies have shown that equitable access to water is vital to supporting post-conflict recovery, sustainable development and lasting peace in Iraq, because water underpins public health, food production, agricultural livelihoods and power generation. But fresh water in Iraq is becoming scarcer, fueling more social tensions. Iraq’s population of 40 million is expected to double by 2050, while the impacts […]

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