Major tributaries see dwindling levels

Environmental agency confirms low water levels in Najaf Sea due to water scarcity

NAJAF, October 23 — Water levels in the Najaf Sea are shrinking due to climate change and dwindling streams from major tributaries, but the lake, located west of Najaf city, is still a hub for migratory birds and local biodiversity, according to the Directorate of Environment.

Adel Al-Jubouri, Director of Najaf’s Environment Directorate, explained in an interview with Al-Sabah newspaper that lower water levels in tributaries and increased evaporation rates caused by rising temperatures have contributed to this situation.

“This issue can be attributed to the drought that the country has experienced, as well as low water releases from the Ministry of Water Resources, and global climate changes,” he said.

Al-Jubouri confirmed that the Najaf Sea still serves as a destination for migratory birds during the winter and contributes to biodiversity, saying, “There is a natural migration route that passes through the sea, coming from the central parts of Asia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, and Tajikistan, as Iraq is one of the warm regions during this season.”

Visits by migratory birds would continue, even in drought conditions, unless the Najaf Sea were to completely dry up, he said, adding that a total disappearance was highly unlikely due to significant groundwater reserves in the sea basin and that its low altitude made it susceptible to rainwater and run-off from neighboring areas during the rainy season.