UNDP Supports Iraq’s Water Sector

March 26, 2023


Iraq has been struggling with water scarcity for decades. Despite having two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, running through its territory, the country faces significant water shortages due to a combination of factors, including climate change and mismanagement of water resources. This has led to serious consequences for the people of Iraq, affecting their health, livelihoods, and overall well-being.

UNDP, along with partners, has implemented several projects focused on water conservation and management, including:

  • Finalizing the multisectoral water analysis that assesses impact of water scarcity on key economic and social sectors, that will help the government better manage the water resources in face of worsening climate crisis.
  • Initiated the digitalization of data collection and analysis of water quality and quantity of Tigris and Euphrates rivers for better monitoring and planning of scarce water resources by the National Center for Water Resources Management.
  • Provided technical support to the Ministry of Environment to develop and launch the National Pollution Strategy, which aims to reduce and control environmental pollution of air, water, and land.
  • Rehabilitated around 120 sewage systems, and 300 water recycling plants in the past 5 years.



  • Rehabilitated 6 water treatment plants in Basra, the Governorate most susceptible to rising temperatures and higher water evaporation. As a result of this intervention, approximately, 70,000 people (33,950 women) benefit from access to clean water. 
  • Together with UNICEF, UNDP is rehabilitating wastewater treatment plants and a water pumping station in Basra, which benefit 960,000 residents overall.
  • In Missan Governorate, the rehabilitation of 3 water purification and treatment stations is underway, and by the end of this year the water stations will provide safe clean drinking water to 1500 people living around the Mesopotamian Marshes.
  • On the water diplomacy front, UNDP’s support to Iraq’s transboundary water negotiations is underway. With technical support from UNDP and other UN agencies, Iraq has finally joined the UNECE Transboundary Water Convention on the 24th of March 2023.