Shafaq News/ The United States is willing to help Iraq withstand the water crisis, US ambassador to Baghdad Alina Romanowski told Iraq's caretaker Minister of Water Resources, Mahdi Rachid al-Hamdani, on Thursday.
According to a readout issued by the Ministry, al-Hamdani discussed with his guest the latest updates on Iraq's ongoing talks with the countries it shares trans-border rivers with and the challenges Iraq is coping with amid dwindling rivers, decreased rainfalls, and global changes.
The US diplomat expressed her country's willingness to cooperate and share expertise with Iraq to overcome the crisis.
Iraq's water crisis has been in the making for nearly two decades. Outdated infrastructure and short-term policies made the country vulnerable to climate change and lower flows from Iran and Turkey, source of about 70% of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
With this year's lack of rainfall, Iraq is badly short of water and lower flows from upstream neighbors Iran and Turkey are worsening home-grown problems such as leaks, aging pipes, and illegal siphoning off of supplies.
Iran and Turkey are building big dams to solve their own lack of water, but regional cooperation on the issue is patchy.
To try to cope, Baghdad limited this summer's cultivated surfaces irrigated and rainfed areas to 50% of last year's, and dug water wells to support struggling farmers.