Violent protests erupted in Basra this summer in response to the deterioration of public services. At the center is a water supply crisis brought about by mismanagement and overuse of water resources for energy and water, as well as a lack of investments in water treatment systems that left water undrinkable.
Basra city was famous for its date palms, fruits and vegetables, but this has changed, as downstream flow has declined dramatically. And the problem crosses boundaries – 56 large dams erected along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Turkey, Syria, Iran and northern Iraq over the last 40 years for hydroelectric power and agricultural irrigation have caused massive flow reductions. [Chatham House]