All sources of the nation’s water — rivers, reservoirs and groundwater — are starting to run dry, Kaveh Madani, a scientist and former deputy environment minister now living in the United States, told The Times.
Iran is also running out of water, at the same time as Lebanon. Iraq and Syria are suffering too as Iran and Turkey reduce the flow of vital rivers.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Mr. Imran Riza, and the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Mr. Muhannad Hadi, express deep concern over reduced water levels in the Euphrates River, which has wide-ranging humanitarian impacts for millions of people in Syria, including their access to water and electricity.
In recent months, as a result of a critically low water flow rate in the Euphrates River, important dams in the area have shrunk to historic lows, including Tishreen in north-eastern Aleppo Governorate, and Tabqa in Ar-Raqqa Governorate.
Current estimates indicate over five million people, including in north-east Syria, are reliant on the Euphrates for their drinking water, and approximately three million people for electricity. Vital infrastructure, including hospitals, irrigation networks, and water stations, are also reportedly affected. Should the situation not improve, possible longer-term impacts include damage to agriculture; a worsening of already dire food insecurity; loss of livelihoods; and a severe undermining of overall public health.
Parts of Middle East at breaking point with power cuts and water supplies running out Record temperatures have plunged parts of the Middle East into an energy crisis marked by 23-hour power cuts, failing healthcare systems and fuel-related protests.
Years of warnings being ignored, resource mismanagement, corruption and climate change – combined with destabilising economic crises – have led to collapsing power grids and fuel shortages that are leaving businesses, hospitals and citizens in despair.
Lengthy blackouts have also become common across much of Iraq, where temperatures have already surpassed 50C this year, with parts of Syria also facing increasing cuts due to fuel shortages.
Iraq’s marshes in the south of the country are also starting to dry out.
Protests have spread across Iran over the last week with demonstrators taking to the streets to cry “I’m thirsty” over severe droughts that have caused electricity blackouts and devastated agriculture and farming.