People & Power

Iraq’s Water Wars – Part 1

People & Power investigates Iraq’s intensifying water crisis and how it is impacting the country’s rural communities.

Iraq is running out of water. It is the fifth most vulnerable nation to the impact of climate change, according to the United Nations. Temperatures have risen by more than 2.5 degrees Celsius (36.5 degrees Fahrenheit) since the end of the 19th century, double the global average. The impact has been particularly visible in the last two years. Water levels in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers have dropped by half. Iraq’s government blames upstream water use by its neighbours as the primary culprit but has been criticised for not taking any steps at climate mitigation or adaptation strategies. And many Iraqis say oil industry water use is just exacerbating the problem.

People & Power examines the internal and external factors contributing to Iraq’s water shortage while shedding light on the government’s response.