The Iraqi-Kurdistan autonomous region is plagued with many serious infrastructural problems. Among them, the Kurdish Regional Government has stressed that the region’s water resources are dangerously deficient in legal guidelines for its conservation and security. A water conservation proposal was introduced by Kurdish parliament’s committee for agriculture and water resources in 2017, but is still being discussed in an effort to pass a relevant law. Committee member Abdulrahman Ali Reza stated,

Unfortunately, we neither managed to provide necessary drinking water for the people of Kurdistan, nor could we turn the agricultural lands from arid to arable. Thus, the biggest problem facing the Kurdistan Region at the moment is not lack of water or a crisis, but lack of a law to conserve and protect water.”

With the passing World Water Day, March 22nd, the topic of conservation is all the more relevant. It has been predicted by many experts in the field that the next large scale war will be over water as a vital resource. Control of these reservoirs would be more important than oil, especially in the Middle East where many of the countries are landlocked and have limited access to potable water sources.

While Kurdistan possesses many rivers within its borders, the majority of them are downstream from Turkey and Iran. Its largest reserves are Darbandikhan and Dukan; both are relied upon heavily for fresh water in the region while their associated dams provide a large contribution to Kurdistan’s electrical infrastructure. Kurdistan has been confronted by the possibility of drastic water shortages because of drought as well as disputes with neighboring countries.