Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Restoring the Garden of Eden, Iraq

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  • Abstract

    The Iraqi marsh lands, which are known as the Garden of Eden, cover an area about 15-20 103 km2 in the lower part of the Mesopotamian basin. The area had played a prominent part in the history of mankind and was inhabited since the dawn of civilization. The Iraqi government started to drain the marshes for political and military reasons and at 2000 less than 10% of the marshes remained. After 2003, the process of restoration and rehabilitation of Iraqi marshes started. There are number of difficulties encountered in the process. In this research we would like to explore the possibilities of restoring the Iraqi marshes. It is believed that 70- 75% of the original areas of the marshes can be restored. This implies that 13km3 water should be available to achieve this goal keeping the water quality as it is. To evaluate the water quality in the marshes, 154 samples were collected at 48 stations during summer, spring and winter. All the results indicate that the water quality was bad. To improve the water quality, then 18.86 km3 of water is required. This requires plenty of efforts and international cooperation to overcome the existing obstacles.