A severe water crisis in Iraq has forced the government to suspend all cultivation of rice, a staple in the war-torn country’s diet. An unusually bad drought, coupled with new dam projects upstream of its main rivers, has led the government's agriculture ministry to take the drastic step of halting all farming of rice, corn and cereals that demand large amounts of water. "The agricultural plan for the summer was modified because the quantities of water needed are not available", Hamid al-Nayef, a ministry spokesman, said. "The ministry does not take this decision lightheartedly." The Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which supply some 98 per cent of the country’s water, are at their lowest levels in living memory. Iraq suspends rice farming as water crisis deepens This is a hot mess and Turkey's dam is not helping. Neither is Iran.