The Euphrates is the largest river in Syria. Originating in Turkey and flowing through Syria and Iraq, it joins the Tigris in Iraq and becomes the Shatt-al-Arab waterway, which flows into the Arab Gulf. The Euphrates is composed of two main tributaries, the Karasu and Murat, both originating in Eastern Anatolia and having numerous smaller tributaries. Turkey has unilaterally pledged to ensure the flow of 500 CM/s per second to Syria.
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What makes this particularly painful for that residents of Khuzestan is that the dams on the Karun are not only used for generating energy and irrigating agricultural land, they are also used to channel water via tunnels to other provinces, notably Isfahan in central Iran, which is politically more power. Many residents in Khuzestan feel that their water is being stolen.
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 The total amount of water withdrawn from the Asi River is 2,730MCM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.
The Islamic Republic of Iran covers a total area of 1.75 million km2 and is bordered by Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan to the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf to the south, and Iraq and Turkey to the west.