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HomeNewsBasra's fish farms are dying due to Iraq's water problem.

Basra’s fish farms are dying due to Iraq’s water problem.

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Basra's fish farms are dying due to Iraq's water problem.
Basra’s fish farms are dying due to Iraq’s water problem.

BASRA (Reuters) – Iraq is experiencing significant water scarcity, resulting in adverse consequences for various sectors, including crop cultivation and food production. This dire situation has placed individuals like Qasem Karam, an Iraqi fish farmer, at risk of losing their means of sustenance.

While traversing arid terrain under the scorching midday sun in the southern province of Basra, Karam draws attention to his desiccated carp ponds, previously supplied with water from the Shatt al-Arab River Iraq’s water problem.

“The mere existence of the opulent salt crust in the vicinity serves as a testament to the prevailing circumstances of exquisite water scarcity and pollution, culminating in an elevated salinity that permeates the lavish surroundings,” he eloquently observed Iraq’s water problem.

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The construction and maintenance of these ponds have incurred significant expenditures in time, financial resources, and labor. The economic plan that was in place has been rendered ineffective and non-functional.

According to experts and officials, the reduction in fish farming in the Shatt al-Arab River, formed by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, can be attributed to upstream damming in Turkey and Iran, as well as the discharge of wastewater and inadequate rainfall caused by climate change Iraq’s water problem.

The decrease in water levels has resulted in an elevation of evaporation rates and an accompanying rise in water salinity.

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Karam and three other fish farmers interviewed by Reuters expressed that the lack of appropriate water resources was causing them to abandon a flourishing and lucrative industry.

As per Abbas Dakheel, an official at Basra’s agriculture directorate, the number of operational authorized fish farms has significantly declined from 15 in 2020 to merely four this year Iraq’s water problem.

The water exhibits a green hue characterized by its unclean and contaminated state. While kneeling beside a pipe irrigating his pond, Karam stated that the water was unsuitable for any fish to survive.

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The individual reported that their fish were currently experiencing health issues, growth deficiencies, or mortality.

According to Jumaa Shia, the director of Basra’s water resources directorate, the city, which has a population of 1.3 million, must allocate its diminishing water resources among various sectors, including domestic usage, agriculture, the oil industry, and electricity generation.

Authorities have implemented measures in Basra to conserve water resources, including closing approximately 95 unauthorized fish farms.

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