Defining the Geopolitics of a Thirsty WorldSM
Urgent Talks Over The Euphrates

Via Terra Daily, a report that Iraq’s water resources ministry is seeking urgent talks with neighbouring Turkey and Syria after the flow of water in the Euphrates river fell by more than half in less than a month.  As the article notes:

“…The ministry is aiming for “an urgent meeting with ministers and experts from the three countries concerned this coming August to discuss the sharing of water and the fluctuation of flows to Iraq,” a statement said.

The Euphrates’s flow “in the Hassaiba region (near the Iraq-Syria border) is very low,” it said.

“For 10 days, it has been 250 cubic metres per second (m3/s) and these quantities are not sufficient for agriculture and other needs.”

Turkey, where the Euphrates originates, opened dam floodgates at the end of June to increase the flow of water to Iraq to 570 m3/s, and Iraq said Ankara had promised to raise that further to 715 m3/s in July, August and September.

According to the water resources ministry, Iraq needs a flow of water along the Euphrates equalling around 500 m3/s to fulfill just half of its requirements for irrigation.

The flow of the Euphrates, which runs through Syria before reaching Iraq, is now running at just over half of its 2000 level of 950 m3/second.

The controversy over the sharing of the mighty rivers at the root of Iraq’s ancient name of Mesopotamia — meaning “between the rivers” in Greek — is almost as old as the country itself.

But the current dispute comes at an especially sensitive time when war-devastated Iraq is keen to rekindle diplomatic relations with its more powerful neighbours.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at 6:34 am and is filed under Iraq, Syria, Tigris-Euphrates System, Turkey.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

Comments are closed.

© 2022 Water Politics LLC.  'Water Politics', 'water. politics. life', and 'Defining the Geopolitics of a Thirsty World' are service marks of Water Politics LLC.