Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Geopolitics of the Tigris and Euphrates Basins

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  • Abstract

    Euphrates and Tigris Rivers are the longest Rivers in southwest Asia. The main utilizers of the water of these rivers and tributaries are Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. The two rivers rise in Turkey, which makes it the riparian hegemon. Some of the tributaries of the Tigris and Shat Al-Arab Rivers rise in Iran, which makes it the riparian hegemon for these rivers. Iraq and Syria are the lower countries in the basin and for this reason, they always to ensure the quantity of water required to satisfy their requirements. All these countries are in the Middle East, which characterized by its shortage of water resources. Since the 1970s conflict between riparian counties were noticed due to population growth rates, food security, energy needs, economic and technological development, political fragmentation, international water laws, water and management availability and public awareness. These caused tensions, which sometimes escalated to the verge of war. To solve this conflict a mediator is required that has the capability to bring all countries concerned to the negotiation table. Syria and Iraq are to give Turkey and Iran some incentives to cooperate. Furthermore, all counties are to adopt prudent strategic plan based on comprehensive resources development to ensure good water management and minimum water loses and waste. This due to the fact that modeling studies of the future suggest that water shortage problem will intensify.

    Keywords: Euphrates River, Tigris River, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq