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Rivers of Discord: Iraq's Water Crisis

The ecological disaster poisoning Basra and the Mesopotamian Marshes

The water in Basra, Southern Iraq, is poisoning its citizens. Every day, 4,000 people are hospitalised after drinking, or even just touching, the local tap water. Violent protests are rocking the city and time is running out to solve Iraq’s water crisis.

Iraq's Water Crisis
The water crisis in Iraq is depriving people and cattle of drinking water. In the Mesopotamian Marshes, Buffalo can't drink the marsh water anymore.

RTD travels to the region to discover the underlying reasons for the crisis and whether there is any hope that fresh water might return. RTD’s crew finds the city’s once scenic canals in a tragic condition. Upstream, brine is choking the Mesopotamian marshlands, threatening the habitat of migrating birds and the Marsh Arabs’ buffalo. Dr Azzam Alwash has founded Nature Iraq, the only conservation NGO in a country overwhelmed by crime. He hopes to persuade the government to pay attention to the devastation caused by climate change and environmental vandalism.