Iraq’s inland Water quality and their impact on the North-Western Arabian Gulf
Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages 1-22
AbstractThis review examines the changes in water quality that have taken place in the main Iraqi rivers, the Tigris, Euphrates and the Shatt Al-Arab River over the past few decades; and in particular, the effects of a reduction in fresh water supply, the pollution of these waterways and the impact of these aspects on the north-western Arabian Gulf.
A change in the quantity and quality of water due to the effects of upstream damming has significantly reduced the water flow to Iraq. In addition, the water quality is continuing to deteriorate in the absence of adequate river basin management programs, the direct dumping of untreated domestic and municipal wastes, agricultural chemicals, and hazardous industrial substances into the waterways. Such conduct is exerting an immense impact with harmful effects on public health and the environment.
Major evidence so far of environmental stress is the increasing infringement of marine waters into the Shatt Al-Arab estuary and its tributaries, which is dramatically affecting agricultural activities and the livelihood of farmers residing in the area. This encroachment has introduced some marine species to what was a previously brackish water environment. Further evidence is the aesthetic presentation of the Shatt Al-Arab River and almost all its branches were rubbish including plastic bottles and bags, other solid wastes and sewerage directly disposed. Further studies of these issues are required to determine the short and long-term environmental impacts on both the marshes and the Arabian Gulf.
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