Drought conditions are affecting eastern Syria and northern Iraq since early 2021 , especially in the governorates of Al-Hasakah (Syria) and Ninewa (Iraq), after poor winter precipitation. Coping capacity of population is very limited, due to the conflicts that ravaged the whole region in recent years, low-income and limited public services. Impacts are reported for agriculture. The international tensions are exacerbated in the area, due to competing interest in water resources.
Several months of below average precipitation since Autumn 2020 caused the current drought spell in Syria and Iraq. With a pronounced seasonality of rainfall and a naturally semi-arid climate, the annual water balance of these regions is entirely defined by the precipitation pattern between October and April, and deficits accumulated endure through the rest of the year.
The precipitation outlook until June 2021 is negative, with anomalous dry conditions to persist. Severe issues for irrigation, pasture biomass and water supply may be expected for several months ahead.