Post-2003 government policies have focused on the restoration of the Marshes and integrated water management policies.
70% of the water flowing into Iraq originates outside Iraq’s national borders and Iraq is the most downstream country in the Tigris-Euphrates river basin. As such, it is on the receiving end as far as problems affecting water resources in the region are concerned. The decline in water inflows to Iraq has been dramatic. Statistically, the average annual flow in the last 10 years has been equivalent to 45% of the long-term average in the Tigris-Euphrates rivers basin. This does not include the two major rivers in the southern part of Iraq that originate in the Islamic Republic of Iran, namely: the Karkha and Karun Rivers. Historically, these two rivers discharged their waters into the Shatt Al-Arab, directly or indirectly, but have ceased to flow into Iraq because of the construction of large dams, control and diversion structures in neighboring Iran.