But Iraqis are also to blame, as shortsighted farming techniques have exacerbated the drought. Some experts predict that the already-diminished river will fall to less than half its current size within years.
"The shrinking of the Euphrates, a river so crucial to the birth of civilization that the Book of Revelation prophesied its drying up as a sign of the end times, has decimated farms along its banks, has left fishermen impoverished and has depleted riverside towns as farmers flee to the cities looking for work.
The poor suffer more acutely, but all strata of society are feeling the effects: sheiks, diplomats and even members of Parliament who retreat to their farms after weeks in Baghdad."
Thanks to Waterblogged