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, pp. 99-110.


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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
ePrint ID: 52883
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 17:51
Further Information:Google Scholar

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