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problems are, however, man-made: water infrastructure debilitated from decades of war and neglect; inefficient and outdated agricultural practices; rapid population growth and urbanization; competing water management approaches within transboundary river systems; and the looming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: Water Management
Water supply and food security will pose a major challenge in the coming years, which many government officials refer to as a human security issue. Both the country’s natural climatic situation and the government policies in managing its limited water resources over the past few decades have exacerbated this challenge.
The Ministry of Water Resources has adopted a strategy on water resource management to address water needs and to overcome water challenges in Iraq. If the strategy is fully implemented, there is projected to be a 24.5% decrease in the freshwater consumption between now and 2035, even as Iraq’s population grows.
The Ministry of Water Resources has shown that it understands the challenges that face the country and has adopted a strategy that will help alleviate water scarcity in the future. Despite this, several crises threaten to push the country towards further deterioration. Failing infrastructure, outdated agricultural and irrigation systems, upstream development, the IS insurgency, budget shortfalls, political instability and climate change all require discreet solutions, any one of which is difficult on its own let alone in tandem.
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.