Iraq minister promises Turkey water agreement implementation


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SULAIMANI — Iraqi Minister of Water Resources Mahdi Rashid al-Hamdani said on Saturday (September 18) that Turkey will implement a pre-existing memorandum of understanding that will allow Iraq to receive an increased share of water resources from its upstream neighbor.

Iraq is extremely vulnerable to drought and water insecurity, in large part because of extensive damming programs by Turkey and Iran along with climate change.

"The upstream states took advantage of the Iraqi situation after 2003 and established many projects, especially since more than 90 percent of [our] water resources originate from outside Iraq,” al-Hamdani said in a speech at a conference in Baghdad on water and national security.

The minister said that a joint committee would handle implementation of an agreement with Ankara that was signed in 2009 and amended in 2014.

Al-Hamdani said that he hoped that more attention is given to the water issue in Iraq, arguing that development and population growth was adding to the pressure on the country’s limited water resources.

(NRT Digital Media)