BBC News : Water returns to Iraqi marshlands

1950s : The marsh area, near the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, is affected by drainage programmes.

1991 : An extensive network of dykes and channels to take water away from the marsh area, which originally extended for almost 9,000 square kilometres, is started by Saddam Hussein's regime.

May 2003

2002 :

Satellite images showed the area had shrunk to only 760 square kilometres; an estimated 70,000 people were forced into camps in Iran.


March 2005
The black areas are water.

"the UN acknowledges that it will take many years before the area is fully restored to its original condition - if, indeed, that is possible, with dams in Turkey, Syria and Iran reducing the amount of water which flows down the Tigris and Euphrates."

Extracts from an article by the BBC 2005/08/24