BUT BY CREATING A JOINT "WATER INSTITUTE", WE HAVE COME CLOSER TO SOLVING ACUTE PROBLEMS IN A SHORT TIME
The Euphrates River is formed by two rivers that originate in Turkey, flow through Syria, and meet in Iraq. The Euphrates then flows into the Persian Gulf. Each country has dams on its rivers, and both countries are constantly arguing with each other over the use of water accumulated through dams1.
Turkey claims that it provides 90% of its water to the Euphrates and therefore has the right to use this source more actively.2 Damascus believes that the so-called Turkish Southeast Anatolian Project-a network of 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric power stations - in the Euphrates, which is Syria's only reliable source of drinking water, has significantly reduced its water supply.3 After all, the sources of the Euphrates are located in Turkey, and it is she who mainly uses the waters of this river. Iraq claims that the waters of the Euphrates, while they reach this country, have already been repeatedly used by other States. According to Iraq, the Syrian dam, built on the Euphrates back in 1978.4, plays a certain negative role.
Syria and Iraq have even appealed to the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference to resolve disputes over the dams.5
The problem is so serious that it once almost led to war. In 1990, Turkey suspended the river's water supply to Syria and Iraq altogether, saying it was necessary to test the largest of the dams. However, after three weeks, she still allowed the waters of the Euphrates to flow again.6
The water problem in Turkey is not as acute as in the Arab states. Nevertheless, the country is not going to give up the water resources that it has. On the contrary, it intends to use them, including the waters of the Euphrates, "in full". This naturally causes concern in Syria and Iraq, which are experiencing acute water scarcity.
Most of all, this problem affects Iraq, where the water supply system is in poor condition. Iraq's mult ... Read more