Iraq’s Ministry of Water Resources reports that the water levels of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq have fallen 30 percent.
The rivers both originate in Turkey. Iraq has said Turkey has curtailed water with dams, but experts have said climate change has also led to the plunging water levels.
According to The National News, the water ministry pointed to Turkey for “the low quantity of water reaching Iraq.
“This has triggered a sharp drop in the country's water reserves,” it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Iraqi authorities say farmers abuse water supplies and disregard water restrictions.
Photographs captured of the river show sections of the dried riverbed.
Water Ministry Spokesman Khaled Chamal said the drop in water levels is “temporary,” and officials are expected to release water from Iraqi dams.
"There should be positive results within the next two days," he said.
In 2017, Smithsonian Magazine reported that a satellite study found that the Tigris-Euphrates basin was losing groundwater faster than any other place in the world except India.
The Euphrates is the longest waterway in Western Asia and runs 1,700 miles from the mountains in Turkey to the Persian Gulf.
Some believers have pointed to the sixth bowl judgment in Revelation 16:12, which says, “The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings of the East.”
“A key event leading up to Armageddon is the drying up of the Euphrates,” the biblical reference website, Got Questions, said in a column. “Are we witnessing the setup for the fulfillment of a major end-times prophecy?”
End-time believers say the river drying up is a sign that the Second Coming is approaching. In reference to the End Times, Isaiah 11:15 reads, “The Lord will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind, he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams so that anyone can cross over in sandals.”
Whether the drying up of the river is heralding the End Times or a product of drought and low rainfall, believers are also pointing to John 7:38, the bible verse that says, “whoever believes in Jesus will have rivers of living water flowing from within them.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Daphnusia
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.