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Hydro-Politics of the Tigris and Euphrates Basins

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DOI: 10.4236/eng.2016.83015    3,752 Downloads   5,905 Views Citations


The supply of fresh water is essential to life, socioeconomic development, and political stability in Middle East. Turkey, Syria and Iraq are the main riparian countries in the Tigris-Euphrates basin. Turkey is the riparian hegemon for a long time due to its structural power and dominant river position. Iraq and Syria are the lower countries in the basin and for this reason they always like to ensure the quantity of water required to satisfy their requirements. The conflict between riparian countries is due to several factors. These are: population growth rate and food security, energy security, economic and technological development, political fragmentation, international water laws, water and management availability and public awareness. There have been a number of attempts to find a common ground on water issues between the main three riparian countries since 1920 but no agreement signed yet. Present situation is very bad in Syria and Iraq where thousands of people have no access to water and farmers are leaving their land because of draught. Such situation will definitely raise tension and might lead to war. To avoid this, a mediator that has the capability to bring all countries concerned to the negotiation table is required. In addition, Syria and Iraq are to adopt prudent strategic plan based on resources development theory to ensure good water management and minimum water loses.

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Al-Ansari, N. (2016) Hydro-Politics of the Tigris and Euphrates Basins. Engineering, 8, 140-172. doi: 10.4236/eng.2016.83015.

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