21 June 2022
  • Iraq
  • water security

Action needed: Three priorities for Iraq’s water sector

With a new parliament elected and new government to be formed, opportunities for addressing some of Iraq’s most pressing water issues emerge. Such actions could be linked to and complement efforts that address existing climate-related challenges. The outgoing government became quite engaged in this field over the last years, with the signing and ratification of the Paris agreement, re-establishment of the Ministry of Environment, and the drafting of a green paper on addressing environmental and climate problems. To supplement these efforts, the policy brief suggests three priorities for the new government to improve Iraq’s water situation and prevent or mitigate related crises.

In 2021, the Iraqi parliamentary elections brought some political shifts. While established parties and players sustained losses, new and – in some cases – contested movements gained votes. The Sadrist Movement was the clear winner. Led by Muqtada Al Sadr, the Sadrists’ reputation for political and social reform has been fluctuating since 2003 and Iraqis are deeply divided over their ability to carry out major reforms. Moreover, the political representation of the Tishreen activists who argue for major political and social reforms won 15 seats in total. Tishreen activists, but also other parties and blocs, wave the flag of ‘reform’, which increases the chance that pressing water issues might be addressed under the new government. In support of such efforts, this policy brief looks into transboundary water negotiations, water pollution, and inefficient water use – three key priorities for Iraq’s water sector.

Read the full brief here.

This policy brief is a collaboration between Water, Peace and Security (WPS) partnership and the Clingendael Institute.

Photo credit: Raymond Bucko, SJ/Flickr