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Iraq Facing 'dangerous' Water Shortage

Iraq is facing a "dangerous" water shortage, especially in areas depending on the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, confirmed Iraq's Water Resources Ministry.

According to the ministry, southern and central cities of Iraq are most severely affected. Expectations are that farmers will face a tough season next summer.

"Iraq is facing a dangerous situation in terms of water. We are worried and unable to provide necessary water," said Minister Hassan Janabi.

Locals have warned of a major humanitarian crisis if the Iraqi government does not act to resolve the issue.

"The problem is big. Due to water shortage, death has increased among our livestock," said Jasim Jaafar, a local resident. "We asked Babil health [authorities] plenty of times to find an immediate solution to the crisis."

According to him, some children have also died due to lack of water.

Iraq has suffered from falling water levels in the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, a crisis made worse by lack of rain.

The reduced flow in the rivers has also brought large amounts of contaminated industrial waste. What was once washed away is now pooling in Basra province.

In March 2017, Iraq and Turkey agreed to revamp an agreement they had signed in 2014, to increase cooperation and assistance between them in order to preserve cross-border water resources.

The Tigris and Euphrates provide most of Iraq's water, in addition to rain and groundwater.


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