The issue of power shortages is related to water shortages, Electricity Minister Kareem Waheed said.
Waheed said water shortages have forced his ministry to redirect investments in this vital sector.
Power outages in Iraq may last up to 20 hours a day.
Waheed said volumes of water reaching Iraq have dropped substantially .
Iraq relies on the Tigris and Euphrates, but both originate in neighboring states.
“Water volumes reaching Iraq from both rivers amounted to 79 billion cubic meters a year. It has dropped to 49 billion cubic meters and will slump to 33 billion cubic meters a year in 2020,” he said.
Water is not only needed for hydro-electric power but massive amounts of water are needed to cool fuel-driven Iraqi power plants.
Facing more drops in water volumes reaching Iraq, “we have decided to go for modern power plants with large capacity,” he said.
He said the new power plants would only need minimum water for cooling as they will rely on closed circuits.
“The water in the basins of our rivers is for drinking and cultivation and not for industrial purposes,” Waheed said.