Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Floods and Flood Protection in Mesopotamia

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  • Abstract


    Mesopotamia is a land where floods have occurred very frequently. Many destructive floods had been registered by historians, who noted also the food control schemes used in those times. Over history, many structures were built and managed, but this work was taken up again by the General Directorate of Irrigation which was formed in 1917 to manage floods and reduce as much as possible losses, in addition to the development of irrigation works. Plans were made to build a sophisticated flood control and protection system. Several projects were proposed, and since the 1950s they were successfully implemented. Many multipurpose dams were built to mitigate flood conditions in addition to their other functions, such as Mosul Dam, Dokan Dam, Derbendikhan Dam and Haditha Dam. Other projects which were solely planned for flood protection include developing and using natural depressions such as Habbaniyah Lake on the Euphrates River and Tharthar Lake on the Tigris River, to protect Mesopotamia from floods. Moreover, the southern marshes in lower Mesopotamia may be utilized for flood protection. This paper deals only with these natural depressions leaving the dams at the time being.


    Keywords: Floods, Baghdad, Flood protection, Habbaniyah, Tharthar, Shweicha, Southern Marshes.