The Iraqi-Kurdistan city of Sulaymaniah has begun mandating the installation of meters that will record the use of water consumption in an effort to reduce waste. The director of water resources for the city, Sarbast Osman, reported that, “On Sunday, we will start installing water meters to record water consumption of households in Sulaymaniah. The citizens will be fined if they do not install the device even they consume no water,” during a press conference held this week. If city residents fail to install the meters in their homes, they will be fined roughly $80 and the fee will increase should they neglect installation further.

Presently Iraq and Kurdistan have both found themselves in water crises that are increasing in severity by the month. Much of the fresh water that flows into the country’s reservoirs comes from rivers that pass through Iran and Turkey. Both neighboring countries have constructed dams and have begun stemming the flow of fresh water. They fear of their reservoirs running dry has become a major concern for the newly elected parliamentary government.

Iran began its restriction of the fresh water flow into Kurdistan in June this year via the Little Zab River. Residents who live along the river throughout the various villages say they do not have enough drinking water and must supplement through commercial means. The dam is located in the city of Sardasht which has a predominantly Kurdish-Iranian populace.

Director Osman continued saying that,

We will not face water shortage this summer if the citizens do not over consume. Even if Iran continues to restrict the flow of water from the Little Zab, we will not face any water problems this summer. But it will pollute the water at Dukan Dam because water needs to move in order to clean itself.”

An agreement has never been reached between Iran and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). This has led to the autonomous region’s water conservation efforts as of late. The meters will be entirely electronic which is an attempt by Kurdistan to move into the digital age. They tried to do the same with voting and ballot boxes during the parliamentary elections but this led to large scale claims of fraudulent voting. The five primary fresh water rivers that flow into Kurdistan make up 75 % of the region’s water used for drinking, agricultural, private and commercial use.

Featured image: View of Sulaymaniyah in winter. | By Diyar Muhammed [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons