Turkish dams decrease Iraq’s water share

damsTurkey’s dam-building has decreased the Iraq’s share of the Euphrates River’s water.  The country’s ministry of water resources is blaming the neighbouring country.  Presently Iran is getting 15 billion cubic meters per year.

Minister of Water Resources Awn Dhiab Abdullah said, “Before the construction of dams in Turkey, Iraq’s share of Euphrates water was 30 billion cubic meters annually. However, following the construction of these dams, the country’s share was 19.2 billion before sinking to 15 billion cubic meters.”

He said Turkish projects has to get back the vast areas of lands included construction of around 100 dams on the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in recent years.

According to officials, “The Iraqi government last year established a high-level water council to develop and implement the country’s national and regional water resources strategies. The council is also expected to develop policies to pressure Iran, Syria and Turkey to “respect Iraq’s water rights.”

Meanwhile, Iraqi foreign ministry adviser Walid Sheltag said decreasing water levels in the Euphrates are serious problems.  He said, “The figures of water levels in [Iraqi rivers] are scary. This is a serious national security issue that could pose threats to our food and environmental security.”

He said that the Iraqi government would discuss with Turkey and Iran to reach a solution.

However Sheltag said, “The Turkish side always evades any bilateral or tripartite agreement with Iraq and Syria with regard to this issue for political and economic reasons.”

He said discussions with the Iranian government are progressing slowly.

Sheltag explained “We formed a negotiating committee and it’s trying to reach a new agreement other than the one brokered in 1975,” but “the Iranian authorities are not actively responding to our demands.”

The new council is considered to take its water disputes before international institutions.

Iraqi officials have hinted of the government’s intention to appeal to the United Nations to secure their country’s fair share of water from upstream countries.

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Posted by on March 23, 2013. Filed under DEVELOPMENT,EARTH,Europe,WORLD NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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