Resources sets a plan to conserve groundwater and sets a condition for its use in agriculture
Investigations and Reports 1-06-2022, 10:36
Baghdad - INA - Muhammad Salim
Photography: Hussein Ammar
The Ministry of Water Resources identified, today, Wednesday, the reasons for stopping the one million acres project to be established in the Western Desert, and while
it counted the number of illegal wells, it indicated a plan to conserve groundwater.
The Assistant Director-General of the General Authority for Ground Water, one of the formations of the Ministry of Water Resources, Ahmed Nazim, said in an interview with the Iraqi News Agency (INA), that
"the one million acres project is an investment in the Western Desert region represented by four governorates (Anbar, Karbala, Najaf, and Muthanna) and
the purpose is Including the cultivation of fodder crops that are used by companies that produce dairy, including Almarai Company (Saudi Arabia), which is a type of plant that needs good water and large quantities,” noting that
“the amount of groundwater is not sufficient for this project, as it was implemented in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Sudan, but it failed.”
And he continued, "from a scientific point of view, there is not enough water for these areas for a period of fifty years," considering that
"the project is a drain on Iraqi groundwater and has been stopped."
The private sector and
Nazim explained that "the authority grants approvals to the private sector to implement well-drilling projects,
but due to the large number of abuses by the owners of private agencies,
this led to the suspension of most cooperation, as
some parties obtain a license for one drilling rig and
when the detection teams leave, we find the use of more than one drilling rig as well as about their failure to adhere to the agreed design, and
this caused a great waste of groundwater,” noting that
“the authority is in the process of stopping all private drilling rigs, and
in the event of a complete halt, it will solve more than 60% of the problem of depleting groundwater.”
, Nazim added, "The Commission has started a while ago a campaign to remove abuses and work to reduce groundwater consumption through the use of modern irrigation methods, as
its teams identified abuses in all governorates in terms of drilling rigs that are not authorized to these operations and random excavation as well as digging deep is forbidden. access to it, and lawsuits were filed against the violators.
The impact of drought on groundwater
The Assistant Director-General of Groundwater stated that “the drought crisis that the country has experienced during the past three years, represented by the lack of rain and the change in the course of rivers from neighboring countries, greatly affected the groundwater, and
now the great pressure on that water has become, especially in agricultural operations, and
this is the reason A decline in their levels and the depletion of some specific areas in the governorates, such as Rabia in Mosul, the Tikrit Basin in Salah al-Din and Lake Sawa, as well as artesian wells.
Agricultural purposes and
regarding the possibility of using groundwater in agricultural operations, Nazim stated that
“this water is suitable for agricultural purposes in specific areas such as Mosul, Kirkuk, Salah al-Din, Diyala, and the Western Desert regions.
There are agricultural projects, but with limited areas, if groundwater can be used in These operations, but by relying on modern irrigation methods,” noting that
“the authority is in the process of adopting groundwater for drinking purposes in anticipation of any emergency more than paying attention to it for agricultural purposes.”
Damage to ground water
, and he continued, “The weak application of the law led to the entry of unlicensed well-drilling rigs that work on random drilling without obtaining approvals and
without applying special instructions, which led to significant damage to the groundwater and made us stop water quotas in a number of governorates to re-evaluate the water situation.", indicating that
"according to the authority's latest statistics within the water points survey project (a project to survey all wells in Iraq except for the region), it was found that
out of the total 85,000 wells dug in Iraq, we executed 17,000 of them, and the rest were dug illegally."