Official warns of drought in Kurdistan due to low rainfalls

A view of Dukan Dam

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A Kurdish official said there will be drought in the Kurdistan Region this year, warning that groundwater levels will largely decrease.  

Director of Dukan Dam in Sulaimani province Kochar Jamal said the level of water in the reservoir had decreased by three meters this year.

“The level of stored water was 48% last year, but it has reached 41% so far this year,” Jamal told Esta Media Network.

The official, however, ensured citizens that the dam would be able to supply water to places which receive water from the reservoir.

Low rainfalls and reduction in water flow from neighboring countries have decreased water levels in the Kurdistan Region’s dams.

Iran has built a dozen dams on the Little Zab and Sirwan River, which are the main sources of water for Dukan and Darbandikhan dams in the Kurdistan Region.

Turkey is also holding back water on the Tigris River to fill a reservoir behind its Ilisu dam, a step that has alarmed Iraq and caused shortages in the country.

“There was only 300 millimeters of rain this year, while we needed 600 millimeters. Therefore, we have drought this year by all measures,” Jamal said.

“It is the second year that there was low rainfall in the Kurdistan Region and the third year in Iraq. It will be the worst year for Iraq,” he warned.

He also warned that groundwater levels would decrease this year due to low rainfalls in the past two years.

Authorities have long warned that the Kurdistan Region will be facing drought and shortages of water due to low rainfalls and the construction of dams in Turkey and Iran, which has reduced water flows to the Region.

Water levels in Dukan and Darbandikhan dams dropped to below 50 percent last year, according to officials at the dams.

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