Information to help prevent water-related human insecurity in Iraq

Published: 2 April 2019

Deltares and the UN Agency for Migration – IOM Iraq, together with Food and Agriculture Organisation have agreed on 20 March to launch a new research project with the aim to identify interventions that can help address the water-related humanitarian challenges faced by Iraq in recent years.

Deltares, with the Water, Peace and Security (WPS) partners, will apply data and tools to analyse the relationship between human insecurity, human displacement and the water crisis in Central and Southern Iraq. We will also look into the causes of the water crisis with the aim of identifying and testing different policy interventions. This will result in concrete support for decision-making and also give the WPS partnership the opportunity to further apply and test the methods. The ultimate goal is to develop a more preventative, data-based policy, and to plan and take the associated action.

The Water, Peace and Security partnership

The WPS partnership develops tools and approaches in order to support actions targeting the prevention of water-related human insecurity and conflicts. Together with our partners and with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands, Deltares delivers water information to actors involved in establishing or maintaining peace and security. We add the dimension of human security and social inequality to the analysis of water resources by adopting the 4D community approach: Defence, Diplomacy, Development and Disaster Relief.

We first developed tools and approaches for the Upper Niger basin in Mali and we will now build further on that experience in Iraq.

Scientific basis for policy interventions

We are working on a better overall understanding of the links between water and security. The aim of establishing this scientific basis is to provide support for timely and adequate action in order to reduce water-related security risks. We help decision-makers by developing rapid assessment tools for water and security in a transparent and participative way.

Connection with the SDGs

The water, peace and security work obviously contributes to SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation). Adding a social equity dimension to water resources analysis and planning also establishes links with SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).

Map of the research area in Iraq

USGC/NASA Landsat satellite data 1986

USGC/NASA Landsat satellite data 2017

Deltares Aqua Monitor water_subsurface changes 2019 research area in Iraq

Other photos in this news item thanks to our WPS partner Wetlands International