The Emerging Flood Risk on the Lower Part of Transboundary Meric/Maritsa River Basin

Dogan Yildiz
Department of Statistics, Yildiz Technical University
34220, Istanbul, Turkey

Dursun Yildiz
Hydropolitics Association, Ankara, Turkey

Mehmet Samil Gunes (Corresponding author)
Department of Statistics, Yildiz Technical University
34220, Istanbul, Turkey

Meric (Maritsa, Evros) River is not only a transboundary river but also a border river among Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece. 65% of its catchment area is within the borders of Bulgaria. A portion of the lower part of Meric River constitutes the Turkey-Greece border, and the other portion of it flows in Turkey. The effects of global climate change are observed in the Meric River Basin. The changes on precipitation and temperature over the upper part of Meric River Basin situated in Bulgaria cause major problems in the lower part of the river basin in Turkey. Climate changes that have occurred in Bulgaria and projections on climate change over region, the Maritsa River water management approaches. Turkey has constructed a bay pass channel to protect Edirne city and surrounding agricultural lands from transboundary floods. This by pass channel is 7,8 km long 50 m width and 4 m depth has been almost completed. This channel capacity is about 1000 m3/s. This channel together with the original river bed will transmit flood discharge to Meric River bed about 7,5 km downstream of the Edirne City. Although it is completed recently, Lower Part of the Meric Basin is still under the flood risk and flood problems such as deterioration of water quality, ecosystem problems and socio-economic problems of the local population. Prevention and/or mitigation of these problems depend on the effective implementation of integrated transboundary watershed management strategies in the joint coordination among Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece. In this study we aim to investigate flood risk on the Lower Part of the Maritsa River Basin and necessary measures need to be taken in both side of the river. In this context, we also focused on hydrographic effect of Edirne By pass Channel, as well as run off from inter basin (Byala River-Greece) to the Lower Part of the Meric River and raising awareness on the importance of a basin wide flood management project. Altough Turkey implemented a by-pass channel to protect the Edirne city from transboundary floods of Meric River, additional measures such as basin wide flood management project , need to be taken to protect both side of the river bed in the lower part of the basin.

Keywords: Edirne by Pass Channel, Maritsa Floods, Maritsa Basin, Lower Maritsa Basin.
DOI: 10.7176/JSTR/5-9-01

1. Introduction

The Maritsa/Meric River is the largest river in the Balkan Peninsula. It originates in Bulgaria, and mark the border between Turkey and Greece. Intensive agriculture is widespread within the Maritsa basin. The basin is also highly industrialized and densely populated with the largest cities. Close to Edirne, the Maritsa’s two largest tributaries, the Tunca and Arda, join the main flow of the Maritsa/Meriç. Throughout the Maritsa/Meric catchment area a significant number of reservoirs and weirs have been constructed for irrigation and hydroelectricity production purposes.

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The Emerging Flood Risk on the Lower Part of Transboundary Meric Maritsa River Basin

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Dursun Yıldız

Civil Engineer-Expert on Hydropolitics

He was born in Samsun in 1958. He was graduated from İstanbul Technical University Civil Engineering Faculty in 1981. After completing his military service in 1983 he began to work in State Hydraulic Works Technical Research and Quality Control Department. While working here he participated graduate professional education and investigation programs in Holland and USA Bureu of Reclamation and US Army Corps of Engineers.

In 1998 he participated first “EU Master Education” program and later “International Affairs Proficiency” program in Ankara University European Union Research and Application Center. In 2000 he completed his MS thesis in the topic of water politics in Hacettepe University Hydropolitics and Strategy Research Center.
He worked for five years as the section head and for following 10 years as department deputy Director in State Hydraulic Works Technical Research and Quality Control Department. During this period he published more than 100 technical and scientific reports and papers. Then he worked as the department Deputy Director in State Hydraulic Works Domestic Water Supply Department and worked at the Planning and Investigation Department of the same institution and retired in 2007.

Dursun YILDIZ while working in State Hydraulic Works he lectured in the topics of water works in Gazi University Engineering and Architectural Faculty, Civil Engineering Department and water resources and hydropolitics in Hacettepe University, Hydropolitics and Strategy Research Center.

Dursun YILDIZ worked also as a executive committee member , Vice President in Chamber of Civil Engineers and Vice President of Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects .

Dursun YILDIZ, experienced in water,hydro energy management and consultancy for 25 years, wrote ten books and besides published several papers and technical reports in the topics of water engineering and hydroenergy in national and international periodicals.
He has awarded Successful Water Resarcher Prize of Year of 2008 by Agriculturers Associations of Türkiye .

He is a member of Scientific Commitee of Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion (TEMA).

He is a member of Water-Soil-Energy Working Group that has followed development of water,soil and energy sectors since 2009. He is head of Ada Hydro-Energy , Strategy & Engineering Consultancy Co. Since 2007