Iran cuts flow of vital river into drought-stricken Iraq: Official

Iran cuts flow of vital river into drought-stricken Iraq: Official

Little Zap River crosses Iraq-Iran border, passes through main cities of Kurdish Regional Government, meanders into heartland of Iraq

By Bekir Aydogan

ERBIL, Iraq (AA) – The decision by Iran to halt the flow of the Little Zap River into Iraq has made the country more vulnerable to drought and desertification, an official said.

Iran’s water cut has caused periodic reductions in the water levels of vital Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq.

The unilateral act of Tehran to curtail water flow for extended periods, particularly during the summer months, without providing any justification or advance notice, plunged Iraq into an even more precarious situation, Selam Omer, director of the Ranya District Water Department in Sulaymaniyah province, told Anadolu.

The recent move compounded the already severe water scarcity issue faced by the nation.

Little Zap River is a lifeline for a significant population, catering to the needs of 100,000 people solely in the Qaladze town, said Omer.

“Reports indicate that the water level at the Dukan Dam (the largest dam within Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government) receded by seven centimeters daily due to Iran's water cessation," Omer said.

"We are grappling with a formidable crisis, particularly with respect to our drinking water supply. The cessation of water flow by Iran has immediate repercussions on Iraq’s Qaladze and Ranya towns, with ripple effects extending to adjacent regions," he added.

Originating in Iran, the Little Zap River traverses the Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah before meandering its way to Kirkuk and eventually into the heartland of Iraq.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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