The General Directorate of Water and Sewage in the Kurdistan Region on Sunday warned of the drop in groundwater levels due to lack of rain.
"There are about 5,700 water wells in the Kurdistan Region, in addition to the presence of 91 strategic projects, but the lack of rain this year and the past year has caused a decrease in groundwater," The Gali Kurdistan TV channel quoted engineer Ari Ahmed, Director General of Water and Sewage in the Kurdistan Region, as saying.
He also called on citizens not to waste water to avoid drought.
Kurdistan Region has witnessed a relatively low rain and snowfall during the past winter and the current spring in compression with the previous years which has raised concerned for many, especially farmers who greatly rely on water for agriculture.
The Kurdistan Region's cabinet met last week under the chairmanship of Qubad Talabani, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), to discuss ways to confront the drought, and decided to allocate a special budget to give priority to providing safe drinking water, paying attention to agricultural and industrial projects, and establishing small dams to save water and make use of it in the field of agriculture.
It was also decided during the meeting to discuss the file with the Iraqi federal government, to address the challenges of drought, as the meeting stressed that the KRG must coordinate with neighboring countries through its diplomatic missions regarding water releases, and alleviate the burden of drought and the lack of rain in the Kurdistan Region.
The low rainfalls have also affected the dams in the Kurdistan Region as the water levels have decreased in the Darbandikhan and Dukan dams, due to the lack of rain compared to previous years.
Kochar Jamal, Director of the Dukan Dam, told PUKmedia that the water levels of the dam are low this year due to the lack of rain, explaining that the water supply to citizens will decrease in the coming months, expressing his fear over the lack of rain next year.
For his part, Rahman Khani, director of Darbandikhan Dam, told PUKmedia that the water levels in Darbandikhan Dam are lower compared to last year, explaining that the water level is decreasing daily by 2-3 meters.
He pointed out that the federal government’s meetings with the Iranian side regarding water releases have not resulted in anything so far.
He stressed that the water conditions will be worse during the coming year, and it is important to take effective solutions to reduce the impact of water shortage.
Iraq is the world's fifth-most vulnerable nation to the effects of climate change, including water and food insecurity, according to the UN.