Drying Euphrates Cripples Iraq

Turkish, Syrian dams, Iraqi practices blamed
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2009 8:53 AM CDT
Drying Euphrates Cripples Iraq
In this photo taken July 9, 2009, a woman checks her land in Latifiyah, Iraq. Below-average rainfall and insufficient water in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers have left Iraq bone-dry.   (AP Photo)

Iraqis are suffering as the Euphrates river dwindles, a result of Turkish and Syrian dams upstream, a 2-year drought, and Iraqi’s own mismanagement of its water supply, the New York Times reports. Farmers and fishermen have been ruined and key grain-growing land desiccated. “The old men say it’s the worst they remember,” says one fisherman.

Many blame Turkey and Syria, which have at least seven dams on the river. Turkey has lately doubled the flow into the Euphrates, bringing it to 60% of its average, but there’s no official agreement to maintain it. Others say Iraqis must improve their handling of the water, eliminating waste and improving drainage. Whatever the solution, it must come soon, warns a farmer. (Read more Iraq stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.