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problems are, however, man-made: water infrastructure debilitated from decades of war and neglect; inefficient and outdated agricultural practices; rapid population growth and urbanization; competing water management approaches within transboundary river systems; and the looming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.
Results for Tag: Urbanization
Uncontrolled use of groundwater resources in the regions with insufficient amount of surface water (rivers and lakes) stands out as another challenge. Use of illegal wells for groundwater extraction is a major issue. Despite the legal regulations on wells, the problem related to illegal wells cannot be solved because of the inadequate sanctions and inspection. The groundwater resources are subject to intense use for agriculture purpose. Because of over-extraction, most of the groundwater resources are under the threat of extinction.
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.
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.