The Euphrates-Tigris basin: a case study in surface water conflict resolution


El-Fadel, M., El Sayegh, Y., Abou Ibrahim, A., Jamali, D. and El-Fadl, K. (2002) The Euphrates-Tigris basin: a case study in surface water conflict resolution. Journal of Natural Resources & Life Sciences Education, 31, 99-110.

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Original Publication URL: http://www.jnrlse.org/pdf/2002/E01-13.pdf

Description/Abstract

Historically, the Euphrates and Tigris waters have been a
major source of freshwater conflict in the Middle East. Originating
in Turkey, both rivers flow southwestward through Syria
and Iraq, to discharge into the Persian Gulf. The irregularity in
their seasonal flow necessitates the development of efficient storage
and diversion systems to ensure adequate irrigation to the
area�s dominant agricultural sector. Consequently, water utilization
projects undertaken by upstream riparian countries
trigger confrontation, leading to hostilities and strained relations.
These water development projects are best exemplified by the
Turkish GAP project, which provides Turkey extensive control
over the Euphrates water, through the construction of 22 dams
and 19 hydropower plants. Located upstream, Turkey regards
the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers as Turkish waters; the downstream
countries, Syria and Iraq, view them as international
rivers whose waters are to be mutually regulated. International
politics, the typical East�West rivalry, and the continuous competition
for leadership in the area further aggravates the conflict.
This paper presents a decision case to be taken by an international
committee composed of UN representatives, nongovernmental
organization (NGO) mediators, and ministers of the involved
riparian states. The committee (i.e., the participants)
should set strategies for the resolution of the water conflict
through the harmonious utilization of the Euphrates�Tigris waters.
This case study targets a course of education at the graduate
or senior undergraduate level based on water resources issues
impacting stability in the Middle East.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1539-1582 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: T Technology > TC Hydraulic engineering. Ocean engineering
J Political Science > JZ International relations
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Management
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Civil Engineering and the Environment
ePrint ID: 52883
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:36
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/52883

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