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.
Baghdad, Flood protection, Habbaniyah, Tharthar, Shweicha, Southern Marshes.