Iraq to meet with Iran, Turkey over water, dams

A view shows the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq, April 18, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

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SULAIMANI — Federal Minister of Water Resources Mahdi Rashid said on Thursday (June 11) that Iraqi officials are planning to meet with their Turkish and Iranian counterparts to discuss dams and water management plans for the watershed shared by the three countries.

Rashid told Sabah newspaper that the meeting is expected to happen soon, but did not give a specific date.

Management of the Tigris and Euphrates watershed has been a source of tension between the three neighbors for decaes, along with Syria, particularly since any damming projects upstream necessarily affect water flow downstream in Iraq, leaving less water for agriculture, industry, and human consumption.

Rashid also said that the ministry is working to transfer responsibility for paying employees working at dams in the Kurdistan Region and at the regional water resources department to the federal government, since Baghdad is already responsible for maintenance of those facilities.

He added that the move was also in recognition of the fact that dam workers in the Kurdistan Region are serving the whole Iraqi nation.

(NRT Digital Media)