Karez are traditional water canals in Northern Iraq. Facing a severe drought, Northern Iraqi governorates depend on this ancient water network that enables them to use ground water resources. With the gradual deterioration of these canals, hundreds of families were living in threatening conditions and many found themselves forced to leave their homeland. In 2007 UNESCO office in Iraq started a project, funded by the European Union, to rehabilitate 20 Karez. The project allowed local residents to benefit again form their ground water resources and contributed in saving more than 800 families from displacement.