By Ali Shettab
Azzaman, January 24, 2011
A prolonged dry winter and the fall in water levels from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are expected to lead to severe drought this year, a senior government official said.
Aouni Abdullah, head of National Center for the Administration of Water Resources, said the rate of rainfall in the past few months was low and “we expect aggravation of water scarcity in the summer.”
He said there was “little positive impact” of the rainfall this winter.
“The center predicts that Iraq is to suffer from major drought this year and an increase in water salinity,” Abdullah said.
More alarming, according to Abdullah, is the fact that there has not been enough rain even in Turkey where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers originate.
“The fall in rainfall rates in the river basins of the Tigris and Euphrates have adversely affected the flow of water to Iraq,” he added.
He said: “Iraq hardly gets 30% of its needs from the two rivers. The volume is insufficient.”
Abdullah said his center’s gloomy prediction would materialize unless there was “some climatic change” in Anatolia in Turkey that will lead to more rainfall.