University of Salford researchers call for Iran-Iraq water treaty
(Caption: The Diyala Weir on the Diyala River, 55 miles north east of Baghdad)
University of Salford academics have published a study, which shows that the flow of fresh water to Iraq via the Diyala River has been depleted by man-made regulation at its source in Iran, and have called for a treaty to protect Iraq’s water supply.
The Diyala River forms a natural border between Iran and Iraq for around 20 miles. It flows from Iran’s Zagros Mountains into eastern Iraq and joins the Tigris near Baghdad.
The new research shows that there has been a sharp shift in the flow of the Diyala during the last 15 years which cannot be attributed to climate change and dry spells alone. The reduction correlates with the building of dams, large-scale irrigation schemes, fish farms, and the industrial and municipal use of water upstream in Iran, causing the dwindling of the river’s flow into Iraq.