1. Not considering the marshlands as a “legitimate consumer” for the water resources which is the case with other activities like agriculture.
2. There are no cooperation mechanisms with the Turkish side in the water resources management.
3. Operating Hadithah dam for the last 12 months for special reasons resulted in discharging its reservoir.
4. Not defining the minimum Environmental Flow for the two rivers which leading to not obliging the operating systems to produce this amount.
5. Not having the right priorities of water resources consumption for example allowing of growing certain crops like rise in such drought conditions.
6. The operation of the Iraqi facilities based on a seasonal manner rather than strategic one.
7. ISIS domination on Euphrates in Syria and Faluja and Ramadi dams.
At the same time we realize our common responsibility in restoring the Iraqi marshes, yet there is part of the responsibility on the shoulders of the decision makers and governmental officials who plan, run and monitor the water policy in Iraq.
First: General Recommendations
1. The serious negotiation with neighbor countries (upstream countries) to have an agreement about a fair share of water for Iraq from both Euphrates and Dijlah. The Iraqi negotiator can emphasize on the environmental impact and the minimum environmental flow taking in consideration international standards as well as negotiating based on “common interests” and taking this part of negotiation in the economic and commercial agreements especially if we took in consideration that the annual commercial exchange is reaching tenths of billions of dollars.
2. Negotiating with the neighbor countries to fix the share of the marshes within the Iraqi share of water after including the three southern marshes in RAMSAR sites which hold an international importance and RAMSAR is an international agreement forces the signed countries to keep and maintain the wet lands especially those that have an international importance.
3. The serious work on keeping the quality of Euphrates and Dijlah water by having earnest programs to treat the heavy water before return it to rivers and the same is applied to agricultural drainage, heavy water from hospitals and factories and water used by the oil extracting operations.
4. Working on closing the gap between the available and the consumption of water by applying the outputs of strategic study of water resources and lands in Iraq.
5. To restore and maintain marshland and not exposing them to future drought s especially in the years of drought a minimum environment flow must be applied to deliver the required amount of water to each marsh fairly and allocating a fix water share to marshlands out of the frame of the frame of the water shares dedicated to each city and making sure to deliver this share to marshes and protect it from overtaking.
6. Legislating a law to protect the marshes of southern of Iraq and applying the programs of sustainable development.
7. Finishing all the required hydraulic facilities to control the entrances and outlets of the water discharges to maintain the quality of the water.
8. Researching for unconventional water resources like recycling waste water in the marshlands with a technology that called Phytotechnology and water desalination.
9. Increasing the efforts to maintain the biological diversity and fisheries and livestock and all other rare water creatures that Iraqi marshlands is considered its original habitat and giving the family of the buffaloes a special care since it makes a major source of income for a wide majority of marshlands people and we are suggesting to create and develop natural reserves to reserve the environment of the marshlands and its natural resources.
10. Activating the role of local sectors of water consumers associations in a way that helps in decreasing the water consumption levels.
11. Expediting the establishment of the National Water Council, and developing an operational strategy for this vital sector, instead of the current operating according to immediate needs and staying away completely from considering marshes just as tanks to prevent flooding as stated in the Russian study of water and followed as a method in the mentality of many decision-makers, and looking to it as a significant economic resource, and unique environment with important cultures.
12. Supporting farmers with the pre-requisites of modern techniques for watering crops (and it can be for free, and can be produced in a petrochemical plant in Basra which is out of service now)
instead of cash support for the purchase of grain from farmers.
13. Developing the water resources by distributing water shares in a planned and well-studied way
among the different sectors.
14. Staying away completely from consideration the marshes are only tanks to prevent flooding as
stated in the Russian study of water and used as a method for distributions in the minds of many
who are decision-makers, and considered as a major economic resource, the unique
environment of the societies and cultures important and very tradition.
15. Applying the efficient ways of irrigation in agriculture as (dripping and spraying) and staying
away from using the traditional irrigation methods to decrease the waste in water and signing
contracts only with farmers who applying these techniques of watering.
16- Maintain the minimum environmental flow levels for Euphrates and Dijlah
Second: sudden and urgent procedures: 1. Providing relief assistance to the affected population and animal wealth including food, medical and veterinary aid, drinking water, vaccines, and needed supply to keep livestock.
2. Engaging the international organizations especially UNIP, UNDP, FAW and WFP to send Rapid Assessment Team and providing humanitarian help and relief for the area.
3. Paying rewarding compensation to those affected.
4. Providing urgent water discharges to compensate the shortage in the discharges of Euphrates and saving the marshlands.
5. Including the Arabs of marsh who have lost their source of livelihood as a result of drought in the programs and the salaries of social care so that they can provide basic requirements of living.
6. Providing water desalination plants in different areas for irrigation water that used to dismiss soluble salts in the case of the high proportion of salt in the marsh nutrients.
7. Creating Water vesicles in the marshlands at the end of branches from the Euphrates River toward the marshes adjacent to the villages specialized in breeding of buffalo within the marshes with a total size of (500 square meters) for each vesicle for the purpose of optimizing
the benefit of water usage.
8. Provide preventive and curative health services to the people of the marshes.
9. Providing veterinary services to the marsh areas.
Thirdly: medium and long term procedures.
1. Ensuring the stability of the villages and communities in the marsh area.
2. Committing to the minimum environmental flow levels and secure shares of water for the
marshes from Euphrates and Dijlah.
3. Preventing the operation of irrigation facilities for the purposes of non-pneumatic or power
4. Strict adherence to quotas of water among the provinces.
5. Remove the abuse on water quotas.
6. The need to conduct the operations of development based on national strategy that is made by
all related parts and agencies and putting development plans taking in considerations the period
of time that covered by the plans up to 30 years and not less than 25 years.
7. Working well on lifting of mines and unexploded ordnance and cleaning the marshes areas from
them to be able to apply the development plans and protect the people of the region and the
biodiversity and enhancing the economy of the local people.
8. Working closely with Iran to promote the water levels of Huwiza marsh and Shat Alarab and
respecting the agreements of RAMSAR and 1975.
9. Making treatments based on the assumption that the Euphrates basin is suffering from a long
drought because of the large water storage shortages.
10. Getting ready to face the filling of ALiso dam basin soon.
11. Free irrigation facilities from the grip of ISIS.
12. Prevent the virtual water importing.