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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Welcome to the Neno's Place!

Neno's Place Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality


Neno

I can be reached by phone or text 8am-7pm cst 972-768-9772 or, once joining the board I can be reached by a (PM) Private Message.

Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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    Los Angeles Times: Iraq is thirsty...and farmers are abandoning their lands after it dries up

    Rocky
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    Los Angeles Times: Iraq is thirsty...and farmers are abandoning their lands after it dries up Empty Los Angeles Times: Iraq is thirsty...and farmers are abandoning their lands after it dries up

    Post by Rocky Tue Dec 28, 2021 8:33 am

    [size=52]Los Angeles Times: Iraq is thirsty...and farmers are abandoning their lands after it dries up[/size]

    [size=45]Translation / Hamed Ahmed[/size]
    [size=45]Standing, Taha Yassin, looking sadly at the pomegranate orchard he owns in one of the corners of Diyala Governorate in the town of Muqdadiya, famous for growing this fruit with rich bloody seeds. From this year to cut trees after their dryness.[/size]
    [size=45]“I swear to you, if I saw this area 10 years ago, I would have thought you were in the Garden of Eden,” Yassin said. But the problem is that we have no water now, I can no longer continue to grow this crop.”[/size]
    [size=45]Diyala is perhaps the most prominent example of the great thirst that threatens Iraq. It is the country, nourished by not one river, but two rivers, known for hosting the first human civilization known as Mesopotamia.[/size]
    [size=45]But another year of deadly drought and a rivalry with two neighbors sharing a drought also means that there will never be enough water on hand. Both Turkey and Iran worked to operate their dams and divert rivers and tributaries that feed approximately 60% of the levels of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, leaving Iraq in a severe water scarcity crisis.[/size]
    [size=45]The Iraqi Minister of Water Resources, Mahdi Rashid Al-Hamdani, said in an interview with the newspaper that the water flows coming from Turkey fell this year by two-thirds, and from Iran decreased by one-tenth of what it was.[/size]
    [size=45]In desperation, Baghdad has appealed to its neighbors to help ease the crisis. Officials say that in October, the Ministry of Water signed an agreement with Ankara, which is supposed to ensure that Turkey gives Iraq a fair share of water to feed the Tigris and Euphrates. In Tehran, the Iraqi appeal was met with silence.[/size]
    [size=45]“Iran has never cooperated with us,” Al-Hamdani said. It diverted the rivers into its territory and did not cooperate with us and share the damage of the drought with us.” Noting that his ministry has completed the procedures for filing a judicial complaint against Iran, he asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to contact the International Court of Justice. The foreign ministry spokesman did not respond to questions posed by the newspaper on this subject.[/size]
    [size=45]The scarcity of water was accompanied by broader shifts in the environmental field, and temperatures in Iraq this year exceeded the rate of fifty degrees Celsius, and Berkeley Earth, the American organization concerned with climate change sciences, revealed that temperatures in Iraq have increased at a rate of double the global level.[/size]
    [size=45]Last year, Iraq ranked fifth on the United Nations list of countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Meanwhile, the World Bank said in a report last month that by the year 2050, temperatures will increase by one degree Celsius with a 10% decrease in rainfall, which may lead Iraq to lose a fifth of its available water resources. According to these conditions, nearly a third of Iraq's agricultural land will be deprived of water.[/size]
    [size=45]This situation is currently present on the ground in Diyala. Almost all of the province has been removed from its water quotas under the government's agricultural plan for summer crops, with the exception of farmers of the strategic crops of wheat and barley there. The same thing happened in October. Instead, farmers there had to rely on nearly 200 wells to quench their thirsty orchards, as well as quench their thirst.[/size]
    [size=45]“Agriculture is addictive for us,” Yassin said, recalling the past years, when the fields of pomegranate farms in Muqdadiya were filled with shoppers coming from all over Iraq to buy a crop of pomegranate, oranges and apricots in Diyala.[/size]
    [size=45]Yassin had spent tens of thousands of dollars in his project, which he started in 2010, to prepare a pomegranate farm and install an advanced irrigation system in his orchard to reap profits from it.[/size]
    [size=45]But the fates came against his hopes. The government began to cut its subsidies for fertilizers, seeds and kerosene for operating water pumps. Although the state prevented the import of certain types of products to protect Iraqi farmers, the presence of bribery at checkpoints at certain border crossings means that trucks loaded with fruit from neighboring countries such as Turkey, Iran and Yemen are still seen at local markets, causing a decline in local agricultural products.[/size]
    [size=45]Water scarcity deals a fatal blow to the local agricultural product[/size]
    [size=45]Yassin says that the last three years have been the most difficult in particular, as they have forced farmers to dig deeper to get water from wells, which have become more saline due to over-pumping. At his neighbor's orchard, Yassin picked a pomegranate from one of the trees, as it looked good from the outside, but when the fruit was opened, the seeds appeared dry and there was not a drop of juice in it.[/size]
    [size=45]Yassin added, "He spent a lot of money, digging wells, installing pumps and installing water hoses, but all of that was for nothing." Noting that his neighbor no longer markets the product and left it for personal consumption.[/size]
    [size=45]Heading south at Balad Ruz, located 20 miles southeast of the Yassin farm, is the farm of Ghadban Al-Tamimi, who has for decades cultivated his 300-acre land with crops of pomegranate, wheat and rice.[/size]
    [size=45]Al-Tamimi says that this year he did not reap a crop, not even from a single acre. He pointed out that the last time he obtained water from an irrigation canal was seven months ago, and that the canal now contains sewage water only, and there is no benefit in digging a well.[/size]
    [size=45]He added, "We went down to digging to a depth of 140 feet, and we only found salt water there."[/size]
    [size=45]Convinced that their endeavors were not entirely fruitful, Al-Tamimi said, many farmers abandoned their plans. "From here and passing 10 miles away, you will see villages without residents," he said. We were nine families, and now there are only three left.”[/size]
    [size=45]Wissam Wadi, 29, a shepherd on the Diyala-Kirkuk road near Birkat Hamrin, says that he and his companions lost 300 heads of sheep last July due to water scarcity and the lack of grass when temperatures exceeded 50 degrees Celsius. He says that what was left of the sheep he sold at a price of 100,000 dinars per head, while he was selling it for 200 thousand dinars previously.[/size]
    [size=45]Wadi added, "What might these sheep eat, dirt?". The land we had for grazing was considered gold to us. Now look at us, no salaries or anything. We used to live near this pond, but now it has dried up.”[/size]
    [size=45]From the window of his office window overlooking the Darbandikhan Dam, which is 80 miles northeast of Diyala along the Sirwan River, the director of the dam, Rahman Khani, looks at the water crisis. By virtue of his position, he is responsible for regulating the river's water flows for farmers as far down as Basra in southern Iraq.[/size]
    [size=45]By November, it should be releasing water at a rate of 6,600 gallons per second. He was expected to get twice the amount from Iran, which controls 70 percent of the dam's reserves and recently dug a 29-mile canal diverting water from the Sirwan River. This, in addition to the lack of rainfall, led to a decline in the dam's levels by one-fifth.[/size]
    [size=45]“Look out of the window and you will see the dam’s water level going down,” says the dam manager, Khani. He pointed to the impact of the water level that was previously, which appears clear from one of the dam's towers, which is 23 feet higher than the current water level.[/size]
    [size=45]He continued, "You might say that the view is beautiful from my window overlooking the dam, but for me it is a disturbing view."[/size]
    [size=45]Khani said he had not received any response from the Iranian authorities that contained any information about the expected flows.[/size]
    [size=45]Fahad Fard, an Iranian employee working in the field of water resources at the Iranian Ministry of Energy, says, “I do not think that the Iraqi complaints and their calls to sue Iran are just. They do not have a legal position in international courts because almost all the projects implemented in Iran have seen sufficient water flow into Iraqi territory.”[/size]
    [size=45]Al-Hamdani, the Minister of Water Resources, said that Iran "shirks its responsibility."[/size]
    [size=45]About the Los Angeles Times[/size]
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