In what country do the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers meet? | webob.info
Turkey, Syria and Iraq are the main riparian countries in the Tigris-Euphrates basin. Quality of drinking water does not meet WHO standards or Iraqi national . Our Middle East Rivers Map features location information about the Indus, Tigris, Euphrates, and Amu Darya rivers. Map of Middle East Rivers. PDF | Euphrates and Tigris Rivers are the longest Rivers in southwest Asia. The main utilizers of The figures given do not include restoring of the marshes in Iraq .. meet their domestic, agricultural and industrial demands.
Wild pigs foreground and traditional housing background in the marshland between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, southern Iraq. There are several kinds of viper and a small cobra, as well as a variety of nonvenomous snakes.
Lizards can reach lengths of nearly 2 feet 0. Frogs, toads, and turtles abound in the rivers and marshes.
Members of the carp family are the dominant freshwater fish of the Tigris-Euphrates system. Barbels weighing as much as pounds kg have been recorded. There are several varieties of catfish, as well as spiny eels.
The Tigris River flowing through Baghdad. The way of life varies from the nomadism of the small remaining numbers of desert Bedouin to the settled condition of the villagers fellahin in the agricultural districts. The traditional pattern of village life among the fellahin in Iraq suffered severe disruptions, from both general societal forces and protracted warfare, during the second half of the 20th century.
For centuries, the plains of northern Iraq furnished winter pasture for Kurdish and Arab tribes. In the early 17th century, the Ottoman sultan Murad IV settled Turkmen in the region in an effort to secure his communications with Baghdad. The majority of Kurds receded into the Assyrian plain and the mountains of northern Iraq, western Iran, and eastern Anatolia. The Kurds now comprise settled, seminomadic, and fully nomadic groups, often with members of the same tribe carrying on each of the subsistence strategies.
Both rivers in their upper courses run through areas that are predominantly Kurdish. Economy The economic life of the Tigris-Euphrates basin continues to depend heavily on the waters of the rivers, even though oil revenues have also played a dominant role in Iraq. Modern water-control technology has reduced the devastating effects of the flood-and-drought cycle, but at a cost of desiccated marshlands and decreased natural replenishment of soil nutrients.
The rivers have two flood periods: The sheer volume of floodwater endangers the bunds embankments within which the rivers are confined in their lower courses. The primary requirement of river control, therefore, is to maintain an effective system of diversion and storage, both as a precaution against the kind of inundation that threatened Baghdad as recently as and as a means of retaining the floodwaters for distribution in the hot season.
Agriculture and irrigation The rivers are high at the wrong time of year for most crops except riceso that cultivation by direct inundation generally cannot be practiced.
The initiation of massive irrigation projects in Turkey heralds unprecedented change for the piedmont area of southeastern Anatolia. Historically, the agriculture of that zone, as well as of northern Iraq and Syria, had depended entirely on rainfall. Some minor irrigation by means of mechanical lifts long has been practiced in northern Syria, where vines, olives, tobacco, fruits, and grains have been the mainstays.
In Iraq the major field crops are wheat, barley, millet, rice, corn maizeand sorghum. Date palms have been prized in Mesopotamia since ancient times. Modern palm groves are often interspersed with other fruit trees and vegetable gardens. On some parts of the Tigris the diameter of traditional wheel lifts can exceed 50 feet 15 metres.
The number of pumps available for use by individual farmers has increased dramatically. There are three kinds of canals: The principal canal systems are the following: While intensive irrigation has supported Mesopotamian agriculture for thousands of years, it has caused—in combination with poor drainage—the progressive destruction of the soil through salinization.
Irrigation water from the rivers, itself slightly saline, activates mineral residues in the soil, which rise to the surface through evaporation. A simple, traditional method—alternate-year fallowing—can halt or at least retard the deterioration. One study of Sumerian records from the 3rd millennium bce has suggested that an understanding of the salinization process led to a shift from wheat to the more salt-resistant barley.
Although that interpretation has been questioned, it appears certain that the ancients recognized the long-term ill effects of overirrigation. Navigation The traditional vessel for downstream transportation on both rivers was the kalak—a raft of timber supported on inflated goatskins.
The overall estimate of water required is 75 to 81 BCM . The agricultural land cropped is about 1. If all this area is cropped then the water requirement is 50 BCM assuming good irrigation efficiency. The demand from the sanitation sector is about 5 BCM and due to the fact the infrastructure system is out of service, losses have increased. It should be mentioned however, that the demand of the industrial sector decreased.
The overall water demand excluding restoring the marshes is about 73 BCM and the available water is about 59 - 75 BCM. If the situation remain as it is the Iraqi water supplies will drop to 43 BCM by and to Map of Iraq showing elevations, rainfall distribution and Tigris- Euphrates watershed dark blue outline after . Water allocation in some MENA countries. According to the World Bank the Iraqi water deficit in will reach Recent reports state that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers will be completely dry by .
The cause of this problem is attributed to external factors Global climatic change and abusive water policies by riparian countries and internal factor poor management of water resources  . External Problems 1 Global Climate Change: The most significant changes in MENA region which already suffers from aridity Figure 11recurrent drought and water scarcity are the increased average temperatures, less precipitation and more erratic, and sea level rise SLR.
Aridity zones of the world . This is due to the fact, that most of the agricultural areas of MENA region are rain-fed . The results of simulation and prediction are shown in Figure 12 and Figure A comparison between the values of annual temperatures Figure 12 shows that the increase of annual temperature was limited during the historical periodbut the increase is more noticeable during the period Rainfall trend Figure 13 expects that rainfall will increase till followed by decrease till The future predicted part in Figure 13 shows that an increase and decrease of the total summation of the rainfall average annual through the four periods of Recent work by Al-Ansari et al.
It should be mentioned however, that the general trend is decreasing but annual rainfall is expected to highly fluctuate round the general trend. Dust storms may lead to aerosol pollution which change cloud properties and then reduce precipitation in the polluted region.
In the desert land, the limited precipitation will help to produce more dry soil which leads to produce more dust in the air . Al-Bayati  indicated that there are eleven factors that affect the frequency of dust storms phenomenon in Iraq, the most factor affective was relative humidity while the evaporation and clouds quantity were the lowest.
For the past few years, Iraq was experiencing plenty of dust storms. Figure 14 a is an aerial view taken March 3, of a dust storm started just in the north-western borders of Iraq  and Figure 14 b was taken in for thick dust moving from southwest of Iraq passing Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea to reach Egypt . The 20th century global warming has expanded the size of seas and oceans, as well as loss of land ice .
Through the period ofit was observed that the global sea level rise was about 1. AFED  and Dasgupta et al. Despite the limited coastline Iraq has on the Gulf region, the vulnerable low land areas extend as far inland as near Baghdad Figure However, Arnell  indicated that the magnitude of change is highly uncertain.
All landowners whose property adjoins a body of water or river have the right to make reasonable use of it and the right to access for swimming, boating and fishing as it flows Figure Average annual temperature over the historical and future study periods.
Average annual rainfall mm over the study historical and future periods. Aerial view of a dust storm. If water is lacking to satisfy all landowners, rations are generally fixed in proportion to frontage on the water source . Many studies tried to draw figures for the water requirement for Turkey, Syria and Iraq the riparian countries from Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. Estimates for required water from Euphrates River to irrigate all the cultivated lands along it are It should be mentioned however that, other authors had cited different figures for the water requirement for Turkey, Syria 7.
During the s Syria and Turkey started to construct dams on the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers which caused a major decrease in the flow of the rivers   as well as deterioration of the quality of their water .
Effect of sea level rise on Iraq and Kuwait . The component of the project includes 22 dams and 19 hydraulic power plants Table 6 which are supposed to irrigate 17, km2 of land . The project is supposed to develop the southeastern provinces which cover 9.
The overall volume of water to be captured is about km3 while the required water to irrigate the supposed area is about 29 km3 which is three times more than the overall capacity of Iraq and Syrian reservoirs. Despite the continuous claims of the Turkish Government that GAP is purely development project, it seems that there are number of internal and external goals involved  -  . When Ilisu dam on Tigris River is operating then, Iraq will receive only 9.
This in turn means thatha of agricultural land will be abandoned due to water scarcity . Recent reports state that Tigris and Euphrates rivers will be completely dry by . Syria built three main dams Table 7 along Euphrates River with a total storage capacity of As far as Iraq is concerned, the volume of water received dropped from 29 km3 before  to 4. Due to this reduction in water shares, the agricultural used land in both countries had been reduced fromha toha.
In addition, the quality of water deteriorated due to back water irrigation directed toward the main channel in its upstream reaches . Syria is planning to double its irrigated areaha. This will increase its water withdrawal from 5 km3 to 9 km3  and will cause: In addition to the above, Iran had recently diverted all perennial valleys running toward Iraq inside Iran. Furthermore, water of Karkha and Karun Rivers had been almost completely diverted inside the Iranian borders and no water is contributing to Shatt Al-Arab River from these tributaries Figure 3.
Its total length is km and its width is about m near Qurnah and increases downstream to m near Basra city and to about m near its mouth at the gulf area. Dams of the GAP project in Turkey. Dams of Euphrates River in Syria. For this reason water allocation per capita is decreasing with time since .
Leakage, in both potable water distribution and sewage systems causes high contamination. Most of the sewage treatment plants and septic systems do not function properly and as a result, there is an overflow of the effluent into the environment .
Tigris And Euphrates Stock Photos & Tigris And Euphrates Stock Images - Alamy
Only 14 cities out of urban centres have a wastewater treatment plant . Most if not all the sewerage systems required replacement, rehabilitation and upgrading. Leakages in wastewater systems threaten the public health when many people are infected by sewage related diseases as well as contaminated groundwater sources.
This value of effluent estimated over 0. Almost 60 percent of all draw freshwater in the world consumed in irrigation uses . Different irrigation schemes are used along the history of agriculture; some are suitable and efficient for certain conditions crops requirements, available water, topography, etc.
There are many irrigation schemes that farmers are using today, since there is always a need to find more efficient ways to use water for irrigation. Three major irrigation schemes surface, sprinkle and drip are mainly used in Iraq with different presence. Flood surface irrigation is one of the oldest irrigation techniques ever used. It is still used today throughout the world, especially in developing countries where mechanical techniques are not available to every farmer.
Water consumption in surface irrigation is less efficient and water losses in such system are large compared to other systems. In this system water is lost by leakage, evaporation and percolation.
Problems of waterlogging and high salinity in soil are very common in surface irrigation if the drainage system is inefficient . Sprinkler irrigation is the creation of artificial rainfall. It is commonly used system and usually it requires machinery.
Evaporation and air-blown losses, high saline water, high temperature climate and high initial and operation costs are challenges facing the efficiency and productivity of this irrigation system. Low-pressure sprinkler system is more efficient where much less water is lost due to evaporation and air-blown losses .
The more advanced irrigation techniques being used today is drip irrigation. For certain crops, it is much more efficient than traditional systems. It increases crop yields and decreases water, fertilizer, and labour requirements with proper management .
The selection of irrigation techniques should be suitable for addressing the challenges that could change with time and location, such as, food security, crops types and requirementsirrigation efficiency, water availability and consumption, water quality, soil conditions type, salinity, nitrifications, etc.
The major aims of drainage are to prevent waterlogging, control salinity and acidity as well as increasing cultivable areas . Flushing the soil after every growing cycle reduces the level of the accumulated salts.
But the drained water from the agricultural lands usually contains high amount of leached salts and over need fertilizers.
Excessive use of chemical fertilizers without investigating the real requirements of the soil works as source of pollution to the water resources when the drained water returns to the rivers. The salinity of drainage water is affected by the type and amount of fertilizers applied to soil. High level of potassium chloride or ammonium sulphate in some fertilizers represents harmful salts.
When the quality of irrigation water is deteriorated saline waterthe productivity of crop yields will be low and the range of crops diversity will be narrow. Even if the quantity of irrigation water is increased which is already not available to reduce the osmotic pressure on the plants, the results are worse on the soil by adding more salts. The expansion of drainage of irrigated lands in Turkey and Syria caused deterioration of the water quality of the rivers.
Tigris River is in better situation relative to the Euphrates River Figure 5. Inside Iraq, the source of most of the back irrigation water is from irrigation projects 1. This is due to the effect of the feedback from Tharthar depression toward Tigris River.
Where some of the Tigris flood flows is diverted at Samara Barrage to Tharthar depression which is highly saline Figure 8and then it is redirected for use in the river system with the salt washed from the depression. Large areas of Iraq are facing serious problems of desertification due to declining water flow, repeated frequency of drought  and increasing water salinity.
During the Gulf wars, huge number of palm and other kinds of trees were destructed which were acting as natural barriers against the expansion of desertification. In view of the above, a large number of farmers and fishermen left their land and villages were deserted . The expansion of desert areas led to frequent sand or dust storms . The Iraqi marsh lands, which are known as the Garden of Eden, cover an area about 15, - 20, sq.
The marshes lie on a gently sloping plan which causes the two rivers to meander and split into branches forming the marshes and lakes. The marshes had developed after a series of transgressions and regressions of the Gulf sea water. The marshes lie on the thick fluvial sediments carried by the rivers in the area . The area has played a prominent part in the history of mankind and was inhabited since the dawn of civilization by the Summarians who occupied the area before BP.
The area was considered among the largest wetlands in the world and the greatest in western Asia where it supports a diverse range of flora and fauna and human populations of more thanpersons and is a major stopping point for migratory birds  .
Land utilization in Iraq . In addition oil reserves have been discovered in and near the marshlands. The Saddam regime began to drain the marsh lands so that troops could be moved into that area and use the water to block the advances of Iranian troops and perhaps to get rid of the marsh dwellers due to the fact they participated in reprisals against him in  .
In what country do the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers meet?
To enable the army to move inside the marshes, the central government started to execute five major drainage projects to prevent water from the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers from reaching the marshes.
Later, the army launched a major attack against marsh dwellers using artillery, mortar and ground attacks. The area was highly contaminated by army munitions and poison gas .
The consequences were that most of the marsh dwellers left their homes and some animals and plants are extinct now. The government at that time, to change the entire environment of the marshlands, implemented many agricultural projects in the dried areas of the marshlands. The total areas invested in these projects are km2 distributed over three governorates which are Thi-Qar, Maissan and Basrah .
Schwartzstein  showed that the marshes are drying again due to the lack of water. After the fall of the Saddam regime inthe Iraqi government, with the help of other countries and international organizations, started the process of restoration and rehabilitation of the Iraqi marshes. There are number of difficulties encountered in the process such as land use changes, climatic variations and changes in soil and water salinity as well as ecological fragmentation where many species were affected as well as the marsh dwellers themselves.
This implies that 12, MCM water should be available to achieve this goal keeping the water quality as it is . If the water quality can be improved then 18, MCM of water is required. This requires plenty of effort and international cooperation to overcome the existing obstacles.
Discussion The three main riparian countries Turkey, Syria and Iraq have never reached a solution to share the water of the Tigris and Euphrates basin. This mater became a cause for tension and it is very possible that this will be a Figure Iraqi southern marshes during, and   . All the countries concerned are considered water scare and water is over exploited  -  or extremely highly stressed  .
Despite these reports, all agree that Turkey is in a relatively better situation that Syria and Iraq where water stress level is 0. Water dependency in Turkey is 1. Thousands of people in poor parts of Baghdad rely on Red Cross for drinking water plenty of farmers are leaving their land . The Iraqi marshes are drying again where the salinity reached more than 15, ppm  and buffalo and fish are dying. This will put Tigris and Euphrates basins at further risk and millions of people will be effected .
The result obtained showed that Iraq comes out the favorite 1. This suggests that each riparian have an equal share of Euphrates waters. MacQuarrie  also stated that this method is unrealistic due to the fact that equal ranking between uses were used. He argued that this is seldom the case, and one use has extreme importance for one country while another may be meaningless. It is clear that unilateral actions and projects have degraded the entire basin and reduced its domestic and agricultural usefulness.
This is due to low cooperation between riparian countries that there have been no inclusive agreements over exactly how the water is to be shared. Previous negotiations have led to very few frameworks for basin sharing, and the vast majority of them have stalled with no agreements on paper.
It has been witnessed that Turkey, as the upstream riparian, made a few attempts to cooperate but they are primarily focused on developing southeastern Turkey GAP project where it seeks economic development so that it limits its dependence on importing oil .
There are few political factors involved in this conflict. This conflict also contained few military events . The first was the escalation of the conflict in over the Tabqa Dam, when both Iraq and Syria sent troops to their shared border.
The other incident when Syria supported the PKK and allowed them to have head quarter in Syria, so that they act as a proxy so that they could attack strategic hydrological locations in Turkey without Syria being directly militarily responsible . Past and present situation, Turkey as both the regional hegemon and the upper riparian, has very little to benefit from cooperation. Turkey is not seriously concerned to negotiate with Syria and Iraq and it might continue to negotiate to avoid any negative criticism from UN or EU and USA and it will not lose anything by agreeing to meet.
Turkey will take the advantage of the present weak status of Syria and Iraq and continue to control the water of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers according to its plans. In addition, Turkey has the advantage of being the upper riparian and it has the strongest economic and political power in the region and this will allow Turkey to obtain the desired quantity of water. In view of the above, Turkey will remain the riparian hegemon for a long time due to its structural power and dominant river position especially Syria and Iraq are too much involved in ISIS crisis.
Sooner or later, both countries will try to get their water requirements. It is believed that the best way to resolve this conflict is by adopting two basic acts.
Hydro-Politics of the Tigris and Euphrates Basins
The first is to find a good, strong and influential mediator. Any of these parties can bring the countries concerned to the negotiation table. In the negotiations other maters can be discussed like the possibility of Syria and Iraq supplying Turkey with gas and oil in reduced prices.
This can be an incentive for Turkey to cooperate. The second step is that both countries Syria and Iraq should set a long term strategic plan for the management of their water resources. This plan should be followed irrespective of the changes in the external or internal politics. This theory is based on having good human resources, finance and information as well as good international relations  - .
This plan is to address the following: Special program for training farmers on new suitable irrigation techniques. In this context new non-conventional water resources water harvesting, treated waste water are to be used. This will save time, effort and money. More decentralization including budget in irrigation, water supply and sanitation sectors are to be practiced. There are also inadequate supplies of potable water. The marshlands were an extensive natural wetlands ecosystem which developed over thousands of years in the Tigris—Euphrates basin and once covered 15—20, square kilometers.
In60 percent of the wetlands were destroyed by Hussein's regime — drained to permit military access and greater political control of the native Marsh Arabs.
Canals, dykes and dams were built routing the water of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers around the marshes, instead of allowing water to move slowly through the marshland. After part of the Euphrates was dried up due to re-routing its water to the sea, a dam was built so water could not back up from the Tigris and sustain the former marshland.
Some marshlands were burned and pipes buried underground helped to carry away water for quicker drying. The drying of the marshes led to the disappearance of the salt-tolerant vegetation ; the plankton rich waters that fertilized surrounding soils; 52 native fish species; the wild boarred foxbuffalo and water birds of the marsh habitat.
Water dispute[ edit ] The issue of water rights became a point of contention for Iraq, Turkey and Syria beginning in the s when Turkey implemented a public-works project the GAP project aimed at harvesting the water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers through the construction of 22 dams, for irrigation and hydroelectric energy purposes.
Although the water dispute between Turkey and Syria was more problematic, the GAP project was also perceived as a threat by Iraq. The tension between Turkey and Iraq about the issue was increased by the effect of Syria and Turkey's participation in the UN embargo against Iraq following the Gulf War.
However, the issue had never become as significant as the water dispute between Turkey and Syria. Although the drought affected Turkey, Syria and Iran as well, Iraq complained regularly about reduced water flows. Iraq particularly complained about the Euphrates River because of the large amount of dams on the river.
Turkey agreed to increase the flow several times, beyond its means in order to supply Iraq with extra water. Iraq has seen significant declines in water storage and crop yields because of the drought.