LAKE SAWA, Iraq (AP) -- Southern Iraq's Lake Sawa has dried up for the first time in its centuries-long history.

A combination of mismanagement by local investors, government neglect and climate change has ground down its azure shores to chunks of salt.

Lake Sawa is only the latest casualty in this broad country-wide struggle with water shortages that experts say is induced by climate change, including record low rainfall and back-to-back drought.

The stress on water resources is driving up competition for the precious resource among businessmen, farmers and herders, with the poorest Iraqis counting among the worst hit amid the disaster.