Man-Made Disaster: Southern Iraq in Drought After ISIS Shuts Down Ramadi Dam

In early June ISIS rebels shut down the Ramadi Dam restricting water flow to the region.

ISIS shut down the dam on June 2.

The water shortage is taking a toll on Iraqis.
Four Iraqi provinces in the center and south of the country are facing drought today.
The Middle East Monitor reported:

The Committee on Agriculture and Water at the Iraqi Parliament announced on Thursday that four provinces in the centre and south of the country face a drought because ISIS has cut the water supply from the River Euphrates. The provinces affected are Babel, Karbala, Najaf and Qadisiyah.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the head of the committee, Furat Al-Tamimi, said that ISIS closed the Ramadi Barrage (a dam on the Euphrates) after it had taken control of most of the Anbar area. He added that the group is working on taking control of Lake Tharthar in the same province to complete the “water war” strategy that it is engaged in. There is simply insufficient water in storage to prevent a drought crisis.

Al-Tamimi explained that he is trying to diminish the effects of the shortage of water from the Euphrates through the tributaries of the River Tigris. The problem, though, is ongoing and the four provinces are still at risk of drought. He described the situation as “critical” and requiring a “quick move” to prevent it spilling over into other provinces.

According to Al-Tamimi, since ISIS closed the dams the Euphrates is down to about 50 per cent of its normal volume of 200 cubic metres per second. It is expected to fall even further.

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