The World Bank said that Iraq may witness a 20 percent decrease in water resources by 2050 due to climate change, warning of the implications for growth and employment.
The water file is a major issue in this country, which has a population of 40 million people, and is rich in oil resources, but it is facing a severe electricity crisis exacerbated by increasingly severe droughts and low precipitation rates.
In this context, Saroj Kumar Jha, Regional Director of the Mashreq Department at the World Bank, said in a statement accompanying a new report: “Without concrete action, the constraints in the water sector will result in significant losses across multiple sectors of the economy, affecting more and more groups. The most needy of the Iraqis.
The report warned that “by the year 2050, an increase in temperature in degrees Celsius and a decrease in precipitation by 10 percent will lead to a 20 percent decrease in the available fresh water” in Iraq.
“Under these conditions, the water will not reach nearly a third of the irrigated land,” he added.
Real GDP could fall by as much as 4 percent, or $6.6 billion, compared to 2016.
The report added that “water scarcity” had begun to cause “limited-scale forced displacement”, especially in the south of the country.