Globally, the demand of water is increasing while supplies decrease, especially in arid and semiarid countries. Erbil Province which is located in northern Iraq (fig.1.1) is considered as a semiarid area. “In arid and semiarid regions such as; Kurdistan Region, people live in drought most the time” (Nanekely. et al, 2017 P.1951). Despite the fact that globally Most of the water demand is met by surface water which is taken from rivers and lakes, regional variations are substantial which causes water stress in the most parts of the world. The main factors behind increasing demand on water and resulted in stress on water resources are the very fast growth of population, and economic and agricultural development. Therefore, due to these factors surface water can’t meet all requirements of water, so groundwater as an additional source of water has been used in order to meet demands of water (Wada et al., 2010).
Surface water and groundwater are the main sources of water in Erbil Province. Groundwater is a major source of water supply within the Erbil Province, and according to Al-Tamir (2007), wells provide more than 30% of Erbil’s water demand. The Inter-Agency Information and Analysis Unit(IAU) report (2010) illustrated that water level of the main sources of surface water of Iraq, Tigris and Euphrates rivers, have reduced to less than a third of normal capacity, also lakes and streams are reduced to critical level which make people rely on groundwater. According to the author’s personal interview with Mr.Sarmad, an employer in the General Directorate of groundwater the Erbil Province has approximately 89 monitoring wells which are used to monitor groundwater fluctuations. In addition to 5982 legally drilled wells which are used to get water from aquifers. Unsustainable abstraction of groundwater with decreasing recharge from precipitation will cause depletion of groundwater. In 2010, Bradbury stated that the water table degradation in 2000 was 283 km3 per annum in the globe, while researchers indicated that in 1960 the groundwater depletion was only 126 km3. This means that the level of groundwater is declining year by year
of the main issues that cause groundwater degradation is climate changes which
lead to decreasing annual precipitation in Kurdistan Region. ‘The most series
problem that we are facing today is climate change which is more severe even
than the threat of terrorism’ said the UK government chief scientific adviser
(Independent, 2004). Another vital issue that we lack in the Erbil Province is the
groundwater management. Groundwater should be continuously monitored and protected
to avoid degradation. Therefore, serious actions should be taken to in terms of
groundwater management to protect this resource.