MOWR: Talking about Iraq losing its rivers after years is unrealistic

  • 23-06-2022, 12:10
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    Ministry of Water Resources reassured Thursday the Iraqis about the water in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and while the talk about Iraq losing its rivers after years was unrealistic, it called for the enactment of a law requiring the use of modern irrigation techniques.
    The advisor to the Minister of Water Resources, Aoun Diab, told the Iraqi News Agency (INA), that "there are several parties trying to escalate the issue of water in Iraq with the aim of confusing citizens," noting that "talking about Iraq's loss of its rivers after several years is unrealistic."

    Diab added, "The water shortage is clear, and we are facing this continuous gradual shortage," noting that "the ministry expects that the peak of the water shortage will become clear when the neighboring countries, namely Turkey, Syria and Iran, complete their projects, as the Syrian projects have been hampered by the security situation, but Turkey is continuing Its work is to build dams and complete its large projects as planned.

    He continued, "This is contrary to the concepts of the framework agreements of the United Nations of 1997, which govern the state of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, because their waters are considered non-navigable waters that cross the common borders," explaining that "this agreement contains provisions that include water independence in an equitable and reasonable manner and not harm the state downstream, as the upstream country should not seize water and forget the needs of downstream countries.”

    And he indicated, "Turkey continues with its projects and is playing on the time card to put us in front of a fait accompli, as the last memorandum of understanding ratified in 2021 was originally signed between Iraq and Turkey in 2014, but Parliament ratified it after seven years," explaining that "ratification of this agreement took a long time."

    He stated, "The water storage projects do not worry us because they are for power generation purposes, but what worries us are the irrigation water storage projects that include water storage inside Turkish territory and are non-existent in Iraq."

    He pointed out that "the water will not be completely cut off on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the worst expected scenario, which is Turkey's implementation of all projects, but it will decrease by 11 billion from the annual flow rate of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers," explaining that "this shortage will have negative repercussions on the south."