Drinking water supplies at risk

Minister warns against groundwater depletion in Erbil

ERBIL, August 14 — Iraq’s Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Aoun Diab Abdullah has cautioned against excessive use of of groundwater in Erbil, urging that it remain a reservoir for future generations.

Abdullah made his plea in an interview with journalism Saadoun Muhsin Dammad, as residents organized a demonstration in the Baharka area north of Erbil city, due to water shortages.

“Unfortunately, there is significant and unjustifiable use of groundwater in Erbil, leading to a substantial drop in water levels. Currently, Erbil is forced to dig wells at depths of up to 800 meters to access groundwater,” the Minister said.

“For a long time, Erbil attempted to utilize groundwater for agricultural purposes, but proper groundwater management doesn’t involve exerting this kind of pressure. Groundwater serves as a strategic reserve for future generations.”

Abdullah further stated that straining and depleting the groundwater reserved would lead to more complex challenges in the future.

“Erbil needs projects to secure drinking water,” he added.