ERBIL — Hydrologist Tahsin Mousawi has underscored a dire situation in Iraq, noting that the nation has already lost a staggering 75% of its cultivable lands due to escalating water stress areas, leading to an alarming surge in urbanization rates.
Mousawi, in a statement to BasNews, has characterized Iraq's current water predicament as a transition from a water-scarce to a "water-insolvent" country, now ranking as the fifth most water-stressed nation globally.
The hydrologist attributes this crisis to weak water management practices by successive cabinets and the substantial construction of dams by Iran and Turkey along vital branches and rivers, constituting Iraq's primary water resources. These constructions, allegedly violating international water laws, have impeded Iraq's access to its rightful water share despite insufficient diplomatic efforts to persuade neighboring states.
Internally, Iraq grapples with a fragmented state structure, institutional corruption, and tribal politics, all of which have severely weakened institutions responsible for addressing global warming, pollution, and industrial water treatment.
Of significant concern is the mismanagement of the water sector, coupled with an insufficient number of ponds and dams to minimize water waste. This has exacerbated severe deforestation, endangering a staggering 90% of the country's landmass, resulting in heightened urbanization rates and further intensifying water scarcity.
Mousawi warns that the environmental and demographic changes will lead to overlapping socioeconomic crises in a nation already ravaged by decades-long systemic corruption and civil wars. Despite the gravity of these challenges, the state's response seems inadequate, lacking both competency and resourcefulness in proposing viable solutions beyond addressing them.
This alarming revelation highlights the urgent need for coordinated international and domestic efforts to comprehensively address Iraq’s water crisis. The consequences of inaction are profound, potentially plunging the country into further turmoil amidst an already challenging recovery from years of corruption and conflict.