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University of Durham (1988)

The water resources of Iraq : an assessment

Nomas, H.B

Titre : The water resources of Iraq : an assessment

Auteur : Nomas, H.B

Université de soutenance : University of Durham

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1988

The Euphrates and Tigris are international rivers with renewable but finite resources, shared by four riparian states, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. At present, only Iraq is a major water user and, due to the dominant arid to semi-arid climate, relies almost entirely uponthis drainage system. Therefore, the present government has given high priority to water resources as a key element in present and prospective economic development. In recent decades, the upstream riparian states have planned for large scale irrigation and hydroelectric power developments. These will certainly affect water availability and quality in the lower riparianstate, Iraq, if they are fully implemented as planned. Thus, the objective of this study is to emphasize the Euphrates and Tigris as an integrated crucial shared resource and to determine the whole aspect of the present and prospective water development situations. Therefore, it is important first to evaluate the influence of the physical aspects upon water resource, the availability and quality of the surface and the potential groundwater resources. Subsequently, the basins’ development have been examined, their water requirements analyzed and the water balance evaluated. The result of water balance assessment indicates that a large scale potential problem of water shortage, both in uantity and quality will definitely arise in Iraq if all the developments come to fruition. The main solution to the problem is achieving a mutual international agreement to secure the appropriate share for each state in terms of water quantity and quality. This will enable each state to design its development more realistically. So far, the co-operation among the riparian states is progressing well and there is already an existing agreement between Iraq and Turkey (1946). Furthermore, the establishment of the 1980 Joint Technical Committee between Turkey, Syria and Iraq, the existing economic links, the comparatively long time available before the upstream development is fully implemented, and the available international co-operative experiences all bode well for the future. It is hoped that the riparian states will promote these co-operative efforts to achieve lasting agreements in order to avoid potential conflict.

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Page publiée le 15 février 2015, mise à jour le 20 octobre 2018