This article applies the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus to explore the relationships between Iraq's water (demand and supply), energy (oil, gas and electricity), and food production, moving beyond sector-specific studies. Thus, this is a WEF analysis of a country that is emerging from years of conflict and instability and is among the first WEF applications to Iraq at the national (as opposed to regional or metropolitan) level. We utilize various open-source data, peer reviewed and grey literature to survey environmental conditions, setting the ground for the study of WEF interrelationships. We note the decline in the quality and availability of water, focusing on it as a key input into both agricultural and oil production. We argue that the declining quality and availability of water over many decades is unable to sustain both present agricultural practices and rising oil output, highlighting the difficulty of increasing the outputs of these sectors. As such, the article underlines the need for a multi-sectoral approach in dealing with the present challenges of water, energy and food production and argues that a radical restructuring of the relations between the sectors is required. We offer policy recommendations that seek to overcome internal barriers, constraints that exist and are potentially solvable within Iraq, and other measures geared towards external barriers, including the actions of neighbors.
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