Sustainable water resource management in Iraq has no shortage of challenges. Some of Iraq’s water hardships, like seasonal floods and droughts, occur naturally. Many of the most disruptive and destructive problems are, however, man-made: water infrastructure debilitated from decades of war and neglect; inefficient and outdated agricultural practices; rapid population growth and urbanization; competing water management approaches within transboundary river systems; and the looming crisis of climate change. The government of Iraq has plans to address the situation but it remains to be seen whether major reform will transpire.
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The discussions about the creation of a ministry related to the water resources have continued for a long time and took its final form in 2011 under the name of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs.This ministry is responsible for the development of policies related to the protection of water resources and their sustainable use, and the coordination of the national water management.
Between 1950 and 1965, open irrigation canals were constructed in Turkey. Irrigation systems with canalettes have been introduced since 1965. Irrigation systems with canallettes were constructed between 1970 and 1980. By 1990, low and medium pipe network with advanced pipe technologies have been used.
It is essential to take immediate measures to prevent potential water shortage. Thus, demand-oriented management should be the focus rather than supply-oriented management. Demand-oriented management is provided by efficiently using water resources through limiting demand on water, and setting institutional, economic and administrative incentives to save water. It is essential for water resources management to be flexible and effective enough to adapt to changing climate conditions, dry spells, and new precipitation patterns.