Old Mesopotamian Waters Inadequate for Thirsty Middle Eastern States

Iraq might be soaking in oil, but its water reservoirs have shallowed. Faced with a dry winter and chronic dependence on neighboring countries for water supply, an Iraqi minister has blamed Iran and Turkey for his country’s water shortages.

Water Resources Minister Abdul-Latif Jamal Rasheed urged the two states to increase their water supply to Iraq, as it is struggling to run its hydroelectric dams and to manage crop production. The statement came just a week after Turkish President Abdullah Gul promised to double the flow of water allocated to Iraq from the Tigris and Euphrates river basins.

The two basins have been a constant source of tension among the states located along their shores. Iraq, which lies downstream, depends on its neighbors’ will for its water supply, but Turkey’s and Iran’s construction of a series of dams along the rivers has significantly reduced the water flow.

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Source: Associated Press

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