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The annual amount of water used in Syria is about 15BCM. This comes from the Euphrates (50 per cent) and the Asi River basins (20 per cent). Of the water usage from the Asi River, 2,230MCM are used for irrigation, 320MCM for domestic purposes and 270MCM for industrial purposes. The total amount of water withdrawn from the Asi River is 2,730MCM
In all three riparian countries, the river is used mainly for irrigation, domestic water supply and hydropower. The Asi River is diverted to the Homs-Hama water channels and Ghab-Roudji irrigation systems to meet the needs of Lebanon and Syria. The water is also stored in the Zeita Dam for domestic and irrigation purposes and energy production.
Sustainable water resource management in Iraq has no shortage of challenges. Some of Iraq’s water hardships, like seasonal floods and droughts, occur naturally. Many of the most disruptive and destructive problems are, however, man-made: water infrastructure debilitated from decades of war and neglect; inefficient and outdated agricultural practices; rapid population growth and urbanization; competing water management approaches within transboundary river systems; and the looming crisis of climate change. The government of Iraq has plans to address the situation but it remains to be seen whether major reform will transpire.
Water supply and food security will pose a major challenge in the coming years, which many government officials refer to as a human security issue. Both the country’s natural climatic situation and the government policies in managing its limited water resources over the past few decades have exacerbated this challenge.
The Ministry of Water Resources has shown that it understands the challenges that face the country and has adopted a strategy that will help alleviate water scarcity in the future. Despite this, several crises threaten to push the country towards further deterioration. Failing infrastructure, outdated agricultural and irrigation systems, upstream development, the IS insurgency, budget shortfalls, political instability and climate change all require discreet solutions, any one of which is difficult on its own let alone in tandem.
The Euphrates-Tigris basin is among the most important river basins in Turkey and in the Middle East. The average annual discharge of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers is 84 billion m3, which equals to the average annual flow of the Nile River. Euphrates provides 90 per cent of water, whose average annual flow is 32 billion m3, from Turkey.