Iraq's Power Grid Is Near Collapse

Insurgents target plants, and provinces are disconnecting from the system
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2007 7:01 PM CDT
Umm Alaa fills a water can in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2007. The Baghdad water supply has been severely affected by power blackouts and cuts that have affected...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Iraq’s power grid is teetering on the edge of collapse as insurgents destroy almost any attempt to restore power and the country’s fractured government is stalled, the AP reports. With enough power for only half of demand, there have been four nationwide blackouts in the last two days. Gasoline prices have also spiked to nearly $5 a gallon, making it affordable only to the wealthy.

Provinces are disconnecting power plants from the system, saying that  Baghdad is consuming  more electricity than it returns. Meanwhile regions are coping with water shortages and overflowing sewage as temperatures top 110 degrees. "We no longer need television documentaries about the Stone Age. We are actually living in it,” said one Karbala vendor.