The Water and Environmental Reality of the Marshlands of Southern Iraq

IJEP 39(2): 121-127 : Vol. 39 Issue. 2 (February 2019)

Sadie A. Menkhi1, Falah H. Shanoon2, Intesar H. Retha1, Anfal S. Dawood1 and B. A. Almayahi3

1. Baghdad University, Department of Geography, College of Arts, Iraq
2. Kufa University, Department of Geography, College of Arts, Iraq 3. Kufa University, Department of Ecology, College of Science, Iraq


The marshes in Iraq are a group of water bodies and are in the form of a triangle consisting of the cities of Al-Amara, Nasiriyah and Basra. The area of covered land can be filled with water at the time of the flood in the late winter, during the spring and the days of Chihod are reduced. The marshes are the most extensive ecosystem in the Middle East and West Asia with its freshwater bodies. The marshlands are an essential stopping point for migratory birds between Siberia and Africa as well as rare species of freshwater fish, wild animals, cows and buffaloes. The research included three axes as follows: the first axis is the development of the marshes which was concluded that the geological factor has a significant impact in the formation of the marshes through tectonic movements and geological times and frozen and warm ages. The second axis deals with the spatial and temporal variation of the water areas of Hawar Alhahmar and what has gone through in particular and the marshes of Iraq in general, from the environmental disasters that have caused high damage to it. The third axis presents the effect of variation in the water areas on the biodiversity of the marshes and their containment of aquatic plants of reeds and papyrus. There are floating plants with roots and others planted in the bottom and submerged plants are immersed in water, such as shamblin, zuhair duck and taurus. There are amphibious plants, such as golan, tail as well as animal niches of cows and buffaloes. Some conclusions were reached and some modest proposals were made to revive the marshes and make them a tourist attraction.


Hammar marsh, Water, Iraq