Baghdad Provincial Council launched an emergency plan to distribute drinking water to residential areas east of Canal Street and to the outskirts of eastern Baghdad, officials announced last week.
Baghdad Provincial Council and Amanat Baghdad rented 50 tankers from privately-owned local companies to transport water to the areas covered in the campaign.
Amanat Baghdad has earmarked 100 million dinars for the initiative.
According to Kamil al-Zaidi, chairman of Baghdad Provincial Council, the campaign aims "to supply these areas with water because residents living there suffer from lack of drinking water, coupled with high temperatures and the unavailability of electric power."
Al-Zaidi said the campaign will continue until temperatures drop and the electricity crisis becomes less severe.
Particularly during the summer months, much of al-Rasafa side of Baghdad suffers from water scarcity because of the lack of any major water desalination project in the area. For now, al-Rasafa depends on the western Tigris project, the only large water project on the al-Karkh side of the capital.
The western Tigris project and several other smaller water plants combine to produce more than 2 million cubic meters of water a day.
However, drinking water demand in Baghdad is estimated at 3.4 million cubic meters a day.
"Al-Karkh side of Baghdad does not suffer from any problem in the provision of drinking water," said Sabah Sami, director of Amanat Baghdad's media bureau. "The water scarcity problem is in the areas of al-Rasafa."
Amanat Baghdad has rehabilitated a number of small water desalination projects in al-Rasafa, including al-Wehda and al-Karama projects. In addition, over 20% of the major al-Rasafa water project, which is expected to meet the drinking water needs of al-Rasafa once completed, has been executed.
"The reason behind the drinking water crisis in several areas, especially the outskirts, is the presence of many encroachments on the raw and clean water networks," Sami said. "Most of the water pipes were pierced and broken by some people who use water to wash cars and water their gardens."
Sami added, "The water problem will fully end within a year from now."
"Although my area is located near the center of Baghdad, it suffers from the water cutoff problem," said Jassim Mohammed, a resident of al-Basateen neighborhood in al-Rasafa. "Therefore, we call on Amanat Baghdad to get water to us through these tankers in order to solve the problem."
"The residents of remote areas suffer too much because of water scarcity," said Ghassan Hamad, a resident of Khalf al-Sada, Baghdad. "The distribution of water through these tankers will significantly alleviate the water scarcity problem that our areas suffer from in summer."