Due to recent rainfalls

Iraq’s marshlands beat drought risk, minister claims

BAGHDAD – Iraq’s Minister of Water Resources, Awn Dhiab Abdullah, announced that the country’s southern marshlands have surpassed this season’s drought risk threshold, now 30-50% water-covered following recent rainfall. This improvement is part of efforts to sustain the natural habitats of buffalo breeders, fishermen, and birds in these critical ecosystems.

In an interview with state newspaper Al-Sabaah, Abdullah revealed plans to finalize 16 government projects within the current year to improve the nation’s water infrastructure. Initiatives include creating a new waterway to channel water from the Shatt al-Arab River into the marshlands, among other enhancements.

Abdullah stated the marshlands’ current water levels are satisfactory, but efforts to increase these levels will continue, depending on weather conditions. He expressed optimism for the country’s water situation in the upcoming summer, thanks to abundant rainfall, potential floodwaters, and expected benefits from snowmelt in the next two months.

The minister emphasized the ministry’s responsibility to ensure a continuous water supply to the marshlands, underscoring their escape from this season’s drought risk and the broader commitment to their long-term sustainability.

The southern marshlands of Iraq have faced drought in recent years, with some predictions warning that they might run dry entirely by 2040. In 2016, UNESCO placed the marshes on its World Heritage List.