Assessment of the Current Status of Irrigation Activity and Drainage Infrastructure in Iraq
This technical report assesses the current state of the irrigation and drainage in the Babil and Wasit provinces in central Iraq. It describes and documents the irrigation activity and drainage infrastructure in two selected irrigation projects for this pilot study. The report also refers to the causes that led to increase salinity and land degradation in these areas. There are many factors contributing to the degradation of these systems which threaten the sustainability of crop production. These include: insufficient pumping of drainage effluent, illegal water sharing and misleading irrigation practice. The lack of technical staff at institutions to run the existing system properly, prevent farmers’ contraventions, offer proper advice on better farm management practices is urgently needed. The study also tested cropping patterns and irrigation density; assessed operation and management of the irrigation system, drainage networks, pumping stations and surface water quality. The research team concluded that irrigation and drainage are directly responsible of increasing salinity. Furthermore, old irrigation networks, low efficiency of drainage system, limited financial allocations for rehabilitation work and lack of farmers’ interest to improve farm water use are key deficiencies that need to be considered in future development projects.