Dhaka’s water crisis and solutions

Ahnaf writes*

With a staggering population of 23 million, Dhaka is the fourth most populous city in the world (World City Populations 2023). Located in the heart of the largest delta on Earth, Dhaka citizens often face severe insecurities when it comes to accessing safe drinking water.

Supplying safe drinkable water is one of the biggest challenges faced by the administrators of Dhaka. This issue is further exacerbated by the fact that the major rivers surrounding the city are some of the most heavily polluted in the world. One of the biggest causes behind the pollution of these rivers is the dumping of domestic waste and untreated sewage into the nearby rivers. Only 30% of the city’s sewage can be treated by the existing sewage infrastructure of the city (Sakib 2022). Along with sewage and household waste, heavy dumping of industrial waste has made Buriganga one of the most polluted rivers in the world (Bangladesh Post 2021).

The city’s water management board DWASA (Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority) lacks the infrastructure to supply safe drinking water to the city’s residents to the extent that 63% of the water supplied by DWASA has been found to contain E.Coli bacteria (The Third Pole 2015). This leads to thousands of deaths due to water related diseases such as cholera and diarrhea every year in the city. The condition is so bad that DWASA itself encourages its consumers to boil their water before drinking it (The Third Pole 2015).

The city has got ambitious plans to tackle these challenges. The city corporation is planning on the construction of 12 large Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) over the next 20 years (MDPI.com 2023). These STPs will be used to prevent the untreated domestic waste from entering the nearby water bodies which will in turn improve the water quality of the rivers.

Other measures being taken to tackle the deteriorating water quality of Dhaka include nature-based solutions such as using natural elements such as green roofs and rain gardens to manage water within the city and lower flooding risk (World Bank 2020) since flooding and waterlogging within the city during the monsoon season causes water from sewage to get mixed with freshwater sources. Hence, this will help prevent or at least lower the contamination of freshwater sources during the monsoon season by decreasing waterlogging.

Bottom Line: Bangladesh is a developing country with its own water challenges, but Dhaka is planning — with help from international partners — to provide all residents with safe, drinkable water.

* Please help my Water Scarcity students by commenting on unclear analysis, alternative perspectives, better data sources, or maybe just saying something nice 🙂

Small island: big success?

Flora writes*

78 square kilometres. 64,000 inhabitants. One water utility.

The water world is rife with allocation conflicts, corruption, and pollution problems. Yet off the coast of France, Guernsey Water supplies residents with reliable, clean, drinking water, at little environmental cost. How has it managed to do so?

There are three key factors which contribute to success.

First, unlike water utilities elsewhere, Guernsey Water (GW) does not have to calculate complicated allocation costs: the island benefits significantly from virtual water given its modest industrial and agricultural sectors. Indeed, only 141 megalitres were directed towards horticulture and agriculture in 2020, and only 815 megalitres were used on a commercial/public scale. That’s 3% and 17% respectively. The remaining water consumption is domestic (metered and unmetered), with only 13% estimated network loss. These figures reflect a utility which is not battling water demands from various sectors – a water utility that can prioritise clean and safe provision to households.

Second, GW has established an open relationship with those managing the island’s biodiversity. La Société Guernesiaise is the 2nd largest landowner on island, the non-governmental organisation oversees the management of key nature reserves on island. Land Manager, Jamie Hooper, notes that “they’ve always been sympathetic, we’ve never had a ‘no’”. (Telephone Interview, 14/11/23). By this, he’s referring to the infrastructure amendments GW implemented to allow eels to bypass the waste-water pipelines out to the open ocean; and the amenability of GW to retain some water in the island’s streams when La Société fears too much is being abstracted. The topographical nature of the island also offers a natural advantage, with a range of 106.47m to -39.269m around sea-level: water runoff can be collected at the mouth of the stream, meaning water along douits is not over-harvested.

Akin to open dialogues with environmental conservationists, GW undertook a Customer Prioritisation survey in 2021, which elicited 7 key priorities that the utility aims to prioritise to ensure consumer concerns are met, including: maintenance of water’s taste; efficient and cost effective service operations; protecting the environment from pollution; and minimising environmental impact with regard to waste, energy, and carbon. Weighed against their own agenda, this conversation reassures consumers and the utility alike that money is being spent in a transparent way: “it’s their money”, says Managing Director, Steven Langlois. (Telephone Interview, 20/11/23)

Though times are changing. Climate change means the salinity of the island’s brackish ecosystems are fluctuating at an unsteady rate. November 2023 saw the island collect 38 million litres of water in 1 week, but in November 2022 GW prepared for a state of drought as water storage levels were classed officially as ‘low’. The island’s growing population brings growing demand. Can GW sustain its services for the price islanders are paying? Can necessary infrastructure be implemented to safeguard against erratic weather patterns? Or will the island’s utility soon be in ‘deep water’ so to speak…

Bottom Line: Guernsey has natural economic and geographical advantages which facilitates equitable water allocation and collection. The small community also allows open dialogues with different stakeholders. But changing population dynamics and climate change are putting pressure on the utility – will it continue to deliver?

* Please help my Water Scarcity students by commenting on unclear analysis, alternative perspectives, better data sources, or maybe just saying something nice 🙂

The thirst of Bogotá’s poor

Antonio writes*

While reading about the water supply problems in Bogotá, I encountered a quote that applies to water-related challenges in many places of our planet, including Bogotá: “The thirst for water is above all the thirst of the poor” (attributed to the Uruguayan geologist Danilo Antón).

Bogotá has around eight million inhabitants and is rich in water to the east and west where the ‘cerros’ – a chain of hills part of the Andes- delimit the city’s borders.

Towards the south is one of the most astonishing ecosystems, a core regulator of water flows, and the biggest of its kind: the Páramo de Sumapaz (paramo appears to translate as “moor”). This holy place for the native indigenous communities Muiscas is the natural source of most of Bogotá’s water wealth and the source of the city’s most precious river: Río Tunjuelo.

As a result of the health and water problems of the late 19th century (e.g. dysentery outbreaks), the Sumapaz moor was stripped of its indigenous symbolism to become a scientific response to the need to obtain water for the city through the largest river, the Tunjuelo. Its waters supplied the first modern aqueduct to Bogota, and the river’s basin was then urbanized in less than 100 years, turning it into the home of two-fifths of Bogota’s population. As the direct solution for water problems at the beginning of the last centuries, the aqueduct from the river was initially planned to provide clean water to the growing capital city. However, it has failed in doing so.

Despite being a magical source of life, the Tunjuelo River is also the source of the thirst for equality. It passes through the south of Bogotá, where only people of the social strata 1 and 2 live (the two poorest in Colombia’s social stratification ‘support’ system). The river’s water is pumped to supply this part of the city. But, an increase in industrialization since the 60s has had two spillover effects: significant pollution and lack of clarity in water rights, leaving thousands of families without access to the rich, drinkable water of the river.

Industries producing detergents, tanning hides, producing concrete and  mining (illegally) have dumped pollutants into the river over time. In 2022, the presence of illegal mining practices in the sectors surrounding the Tunjuelo River affected around one and a half million people who live and work in this part of the city due to the high sediment deposits produced by these industrial practices. So, instead of rocks, the riverbed shows a tapestry of disposable containers, dead animals, car tires and plastic bags tangled on the bank because of irresponsible and non-regulated commercial activities. And what is the effect? Thirst. Thirst for those who are excluded from having clean water.

But even this is a secondary problem from which only the most privileged among the poor in the south suffer. This part of the city still represents the thirst among the poorest among the poor in water-rich Colombia. Around 20,000 families live without any water service in more than 10 irregular settlements in the districts near the Tunjuelo River.

Bottom Line: Despite being rich in water resources, Bogotá’s poor have a big thirst for water.

* Please help my Water Scarcity students by commenting on unclear analysis, alternative perspectives, better data sources, or maybe just saying something nice 🙂

Saint-Malo’s heatwave problem

Julie writes*

According to Jean-Francis Richeux, the president of the Saint-Malo Water Department, tap water shortages will become common in the near future in the city. Saint-Malo, in the west of France (Brittany), is a city of 45,000 residents known for its recurring floods and rainy weather.

However, for the last decade, the city has been facing increasingly challenging weather. Droughts and heat waves have become part of the city’s summer for the last 5 years. In 2022, the hottest temperature has been recorded for the city with 41 degrees the 18th of July. The pressure on drinking water resources is now not only a summer threat. Indeed, because of a rainfall deficit in the region (20% in 2022), drought risks are also becoming an issue during the fall: for instance, in 2022, the risk of drinking water shortages was estimated at 50%.

Moreover, even if rainfall returns to its normal rate, not much will penetrate the ground as it is mostly made of granite. Therefore, the region also faces a lack of groundwater, and, with this increasing rainfall deficit, Saint-Malo relies on other cities to provide water but this comes with a cost that is partially reflected in consumer’s water bills. Since 2020, the cost of drinking water distributed by the “Malouine Water Authority” (RME) increased by 6%.

Solutions have been implemented to reduce drinking water consumption. The focus of the last decade has been on preventing leakage through an intensive renewal of the pipe network. For instance, the RME is renewing 6km of pipes from October 2023 to May 2024. This focus on reducing leakage has been successful as the rate has decreased from 12% in 2021 to 8% in 2022, compared to a national average of 20%.

However, those solutions will not be enough to prevent Saint-Malo from drinking water shortages. The city, as well as the government, calls for sobriety in drinking water consumption. This sobriety, at first sight, seems difficult to reach as tourism often led to an increase in water consumption in the past years. To address this issue, the RME made the first few cube meters of drinking water not free so as not to encourage non-sustainable tourism. Nonetheless, the water authority implemented progressive tariff ranges to support small households.

Bottom Line: Saint-Malo will face drinking water shortages in the coming years due to a combination of factors: an absence of groundwater, a rainfall deficit, and increasing droughts and heatwaves.

* Please help my Water Scarcity students by commenting on unclear analysis, alternative perspectives, better data sources, or maybe just saying something nice 🙂

Dirty water and dirty money

Lenu writes*

Romania has plenty of water to provide clean drinking water to all of its citizens, 62% of which is provided by surface water like the Danube River (OECD). However, issues with funds, management, and corruption prevent this water from reaching all 19 million of the country’s inhabitants.

Bucharest, the capital of Romania, provides safe (although heavily chlorinated) water to 98% of its citizens (EU4Environment). However in rural areas, up to 60% of the population does not have access to running water at all, according to the (OECD). Over 5 million people do not have access to safe potable water. This situation is sure to worsen in the near future — rural populations are expected to decrease as younger people move to urban areas.

In Găujani, a village south of Bucharest, the water has such a high nitrate concentration that it makes people who drink it sick. These high levels of nitrate are caused by runoff into the Danube River from agriculture (The Guardian). Those living in Găujani must either drink the “poisoned” water, or buy all their water in plastic containers. Toma Petcu from Digi24 interviewed Marcu Dumitru, the mayor of Găujani, about the situation. Dumitru spoke of the difficulty to install a running water network in the village. He had “never heard of anyone who had succeeded” in obtaining European funds for such a project. “They’ve lived like this for as long as I know,” he adds.

According to journalist Ion M. Ioniță, the mayors of these rural towns often don’t want to develop their localities. It’s simply easier for them to not even try to access EU funds.

Part of the reason for underdeveloped infrastructure in water and sewerage could have to do with corruption. “Apele Române”, the governmental organization that regulates water in the country, as well as the distributing company in Giurgiu county, and “Apa Service” have both been the subject of scandals involving fraud and bribery. The current technical director of the Argeș-Vedea branch of “Apele Române”, Adrian Moisescu, is suspected to have spent €2 million on vehicles that do not exist.

Access to clean water among rural populations is unlikely to improve anytime soon. As mentioned, rural populations will continue to decrease. But in addition, changes will occur in the Danube River, which provides 44% of Romania’s total fresh water resources: pollution pressures are expected to increase due to the continuous rise in industrial agriculture, since the pesticides and fertilizers used add more nitrates to the river (The Guardian). This will, in turn, worsen the water quality of those who rely on the Danube for their drinking water.

Bottom Line: There are a myriad of political and management-related issues that act as a barrier to providing Romania’s citizens with clean drinking water. Pollution and agriculture play a big role in water quality, and removing anything toxic comes down to management — which, in many cases in this country, doesn’t seem to be doing too well.

* Please help my Water Scarcity students by commenting on unclear analysis, alternative perspectives, better data sources, or maybe just saying something nice 🙂

Albuquerque’s lawn problem

Nathalie writes*

Albuquerque, New Mexico, is teetering on the cliff of total water disaster. In August of 2022, one of its main water sources, the Rio Grande river, ran dry in Albuquerque for the first time in forty years, an undeniable sign of chronic overuse. Another major source, the Colorado river is facing a similar fate, and the city’s underground aquifer has struggled for years. And, of the remaining groundwater sources, several have been contaminated by local Air Force bases with PFAS, or toxic ‘forever chemicals’ which are extremely difficult to remove. Drought and scarcity is a critical issue facing the region and is expected to worsen, but you wouldn’t know it from the landscape. Despite being a desert city, Albuquerque boasts an impressive nineteen golf courses, widespread irrigated agriculture, and countless lush, green lawns.

For a city in a temperate climate with plentiful water resources, so much green wouldn’t be issue. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case, and by pretending to be such a city Albuquerque has overused its water sources for decades. Its water ‘savings account’ has been depleted, but many local landscapers still act like they’ve got a blank check. And legislators agree: one report found that wealthy landowners were getting tax breaks to water their lawns amidst a major drought crisis.

Golf courses are another major guzzler, with one in Albuquerque taking 530 acre feet of public water per year, or around 650 million liters. In New Mexico as a whole, each golf course typically uses between approximately 123 million and 616 million liters of water yearly, making them the largest users in the commercial category.

While residential and commercial water overuse is a problem, the agricultural sector is by far the biggest contributor. Nearly 80% of New Mexico’s water supply goes to agriculture – primarily dairies, pecan, and alfalfa farms. The problem is circular: the more New Mexico heats up, the more water is needed, and the more resources are depleted. One report found that as temperatures rise, farmers will need to irrigate 15% more than they currently do to match current crop yields.

The Rio Grande drying up just south of Albuquerque in 2022.

However, there are local movements trying to change the system. Xeriscaping, or desert landscaping, is growing in popularity, and the Albuquerque water authority offers rebates in exchange for its adoption. There’s also pushes for education: Albuquerque offers free irrigation classes to help local gardeners better manage their water use. The benefits is substantial: when residents adopt desert landscaping, outdoor water use often drops from 50-70% of residential use to 3%. Through these efforts, from 1990 to 2015 residential water usage among Albuquerque Water Authority customers dropped by around 37 million liters per year. In fact, groundwater sources have even begun to rebound Nonetheless, little progress has been made in advancing agricultural water conservation. Ultimately, conservation, especially for residential use, is going in the right direction, but huge parts of the system continue to waste massive quantities of water. If current trends continue, Albuquerque is facing down a future as dry as the sand it stands on.

Bottom Line: Despite major droughts and scarcity, New Mexico continues to squander its water on agricultural and commercial uses. Some conservationists are trying to turn the tide and introduce a more desert-friendly landscape, but it’s an uphill battle which is moving far too slowly.

* Please help my Water Scarcity students by commenting on unclear analysis, alternative perspectives, better data sources, or maybe just saying something nice 🙂

Tbilisi’s deadly floods

Kato writes*

The night of June 13, 2015, is a moment in Tbilisi’s history that residents will never forget. What is now known as the “June Tragedy” was a Saturday evening when the thunderstorm hit Tbilisi, swelling river Vere and causing a destructive flood that killed 21 residents. Excessive atmospheric precipitation has caused the swelling of the Vere River periodically starting from 1893, which has had detrimental effects on Tbilisi’s economy and infrastructure. Originating from Georgia’s eastern slopes, the river flows into the Mtkvari River basin in Tbilisi, the valley covering heavily inhabited settlements, like Vake and Bagebi.

Rescuers in Tbilisi street after 2015 flooding. June, 2015

There are two dimensions of the flood, natural and human. Experts have deduced the main natural cause of the 2015 flood to be the torrential rainfall that lasted for about 3 hours, creating an excessive amount of surface water on the slopes of the Vere Valley. Deforestation and human degradation of forest covers have resulted in the loss of its water-retention ability, causing a deadly flood. In the Vere Valley, the forest cover has decreased from 8% to 0.4% (HumanRights, 2015), and none of the trees are older than 20, which is relatively young compared to the required 40-50-year lifespan.

Different causes have been attributed to the severity of the flood’s effect, but one of them is certain- the increasing infrastructure in the river’s valley. Merab Gafrindashvili, the head of the Geology Department of the National Agency of the Ministry of Environmental Protection stated: “Since the 50s, the exploitation of the Vere River began in an unsystematic manner. The floodplain of the river belongs to the river, we started building residential houses, houses, parking lots and a zoo in this place, due to which the river could not carry the timber and sand material brought down by the flood.” (NewPress, 2015)

Due to the increasing effects of climate change, the floods have only been increasing in Tbilisi. The most recent occurred on 30th August 2023, when precipitation exceeded 2015’s flood by 200 percent. Once again the root of the tragedy was the landslide on the road connecting Tskneti-Bethania. The land mass amounting to one million cubic meters in the Vere River Valley caused destructive flooding. According to the official reports the damage done amounted to around US$90 million (Sputnik, 2023).

Georgia, as a county with a high risk of natural disasters, has been trying to adapt to the accelerated speed of climate change and take measures. Due to frequent rains, rivers start to rise, coming out of the riverbed and destroying local infrastructure. The government has been adapting to the circumstances by funding projects with UNDP to ensure protection from natural risks (UNDP, 2021). Nevertheless, it still has a long way to go as even the capital, Tbilisi, “lacks an updated master plan with infrastructure development based on clearly defined construction standards and a thorough assessment of the environmental and social impact of growth.” (Medium, 2015).

As water levels rise, it is taking a toll on residential life, agriculture, and economic development. Governments and experts should strive to prevent future catastrophes by any means. In the words of Louisa Vinton, UNDP Representative Resident of Georgia: “There is nothing inevitable about a natural disaster. They are always caused ultimately by human beings. So if human beings cause natural disasters, then they can prevent them.” (UNDP, 2021)

Bottom Line: Destructive floods, torrential rainfall, exploitation, rising water levels, natural disasters.

* Please help my Water Scarcity students by commenting on unclear analysis, alternative perspectives, better data sources, or maybe just saying something nice 🙂

The climate crisis is drying out La Paz

Laszlo writes*

Bolivia is one of the countries that is most affected by climate change, which plays a significant role in water resource depletion. Its capital, La Paz, and its agglomeration El Alto, located in the mountain range of the Andes, are particularly affected by it as it is 3,500 meters above sea level, where climate is changing faster.

In parallel, population increase is a common pressure on water resources worldwide. La Paz’s growth rate being around 4 percent and El Alto’s being 8 percent annually increases water demand. The drinkable water supply has been plummeting for the last 30 years.

Glaciers contribute around 15 to 30 percent of supply. Due to rising temperatures (0.8 degrees in 1999 to 1 degree in 2018) and the shortening of precipitation seasons from 6 months to 3 months, their surface area has decreased by 40 percent since 1999, meaning lower supply.

Climate change also affects precipitation, which nearly 90 percent of the City’s reservoirs rely on.

The lack of effective and maintained infrastructure for water management does not help the effects of the climate crisis either. The reservoirs located in the heights of the La Paz agglomeration lose lots of water from evaporation and higher temperatures. 45 percent of the city’s water is lost due to defective dams and irrigation.

The climate crisis has been the cause of various crises in the past, such as the 2016-17 water crisis. In November 2016, the south area, city center, and some parts of El Alto experienced a sudden water shortage and were alarmed by the fact that the main water-providing dams (Incachaca, Hampaturi, and Ajuankhota) were at their lowest capacities. In the following months, 94 neighborhoods in La Paz and El Alto suffered from receiving water for only 3 hours every 3 days.

This winter (summer for the northern hemisphere) was been one of the hottest on record. As of September 2023, residents of the agglomeration of La Paz, El Alto, have been only given access to water at dedicated times of the day. A popular water shortage “reflex” has been activated, and water is rationed.

Taking into account these factors, governmental entities have not yet started to track glacier retreats and neither have they started implementing strategies to tackle the consequences of the climate crisis on water resources.

Bottom Line: La Paz is experiencing a deepening water crisis exacerbated by the lack of proactive measures and strategic planning from governmental entities.

* Please help my Water Scarcity students by commenting on unclear analysis, alternative perspectives, better data sources, or maybe just saying something nice 🙂

Buybacks and droughts – The Murray

Per writes*

Two Cities, One Community. Albury Wodonga is a rural region along the mighty Murray River, which is separated by the NSW/Victoria border.

Living along the Murray can be both a blessing and a curse. During rainy season, there is an abundance of water, but the dry season places extreme stress not only on the community, but also policy makers and regulators who have to manage the distribution of water effectively and sustainably.

The recent major droughts in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) have increased water scarcity. According to the Australian Government, in times of extreme droughts, water allocation is drastically reduced for agricultural as well as environmental uses.

The government defines some of the visible effects of droughts in the Basin: economic suffering, loss of drinking water, reduced crop yields, and decline in flora and fauna.

The government has implemented water buybacks to try to address economic and environmental issues. Water buybacks ensure that the entire Murray Darling Basin has enough water when the river dries out. Buybacks allow the government to set water aside, to create a reserve for extreme droughts that can be used to protect wetlands, fish, and waterbirds. (Rotche, 2023). Water buybacks also aim to stop people from extracting scarce water to sell for profit.

The droughts have caused many political and environmental issues in Albury Wodonga. In 2019, farmers drove their tractors onto the streets to protest high water prices during a drought. The farmers acknowledged water scarcity  but they were unhappy about the distribution of water. Major irrigation companies had not left enough water for farmers and people.

The documentary “When the river runs dry” demonstrates how overexploitation of the Murray River is not just bad for the citizens of Albury Wodonga, but also the ecosystems along the Murray River. The documentary also shows how river communities can be negatively impacted by illegal activities from towns upstream.

Bottom Line: Droughts in the Darling Basin cause severe environmental, political and social issues. There are mixed views towards water buybacks, as they can cause an unfair allocation of drinking water, by which major irrigation companies are prioritized, leaving not enough water for recreational and essential usage. Thus, the droughts continue to pose severe issues in Albury Wodonga, and policy makers and regulators must continue to search for a sustainable and effective solution to ensure fair allocation.

* Please help my Water Scarcity students by commenting on unclear analysis, alternative perspectives, better data sources, or maybe just saying something nice 🙂

The Garden of Eden’s non-idyllic waters

Marta writes*

The Tigris and Euphrates have long defined Mesopotamia (literally “between rivers”) as the cradle of human civilization. Historically associated with biblical Garden of Eden, these waters symbolise abundance and life. The contrast between this imagery and the current state of these waters is dramatic. (The New York Times, 2023). In 2018, more than 118.000 people were hospitalized in Basra, southern Iraq, due to water contamination (Human Rights Watch, 2019). The Shatt al-Arab (SAA) river, formed by the convergence of Tigris and Euphrates in Southern Iraq, represents the main source of water in Basra but its quality is alarmingly poor.

The poisoning and related protests by residents captured international attention. Multiple studies have been conducted to investigate the quality of SAA waters and the roots of the contamination. The results revealed that SAA waters are not suitable for drinking or irrigation (according to Iraqi and  WHO standards) due to high salinity and high concentration of calcium and Total Dissolved Solids.

Human Rights Watch report places these results in the context of years of water mismanagement by local and federal authorities. Water treatment plants are not meeting standards for removing contaminants, testing water quality, and sufficient chlorine levels. Moreover, the decentralization of power over water management encouraged private and public entities to discharge untreated waste into the river and illegally tap into the sewage network.

HRW recorded two oil spills in the SAA near Basra. In addition, satellite imagery reveals garbage accumulation and two unidentified pipelines releasing large volumes of waste liquid into the canals in Basra. According to HRW, in the period from March 2018 to November 2018 general poor water quality might have been aggravated by a large algal bloom along the SAA, causing the disease outbreak. High temperatures, accumulation of garbage, presence of human and animal sewage, fertilizers and oil residues in the water facilitate algal proliferation (Human Rights Watch, 2019).

In response to Basra water crisis, the United Nations and different partners offered support to Basra Water Directorate and to the local governorate. For instance, Japan International Cooperation Agency and the United States Agency for International Development financed rehabilitation of multiple water treatment plants in Basra governorate while UK government financed through a loan the construction of a desalination plant on the sea in Faw district. (United Nations, 2020). Despite the positive intentions of these projects, their effects are limited. As in other cases of water scarcity, it takes time to regenerate the water system and collective efforts from all actors within the Tigris and Euphrates watershed is required to achieve substantial results.

Bottom Line: Formed by the convergence of Tigris and Euphrates in Southern Iraq, the Shatt al-Arab river suffer from alarming contamination and salinity. In Basra, the poor water quality of the river connected to water mismanagement caused widespread of illness and constitute a major unsolved water crisis.

* Please help my Water Scarcity students by commenting on unclear analysis, alternative perspectives, better data sources, or maybe just saying something nice 🙂