Analysis and Synthesis -21st Century

Natural Diminishing Trend of the Tigris and Euphrates Streamflows is Alarming for the Middle East Future

Dursun Yıldız

Hydropolitical Expert

Director of Hydropolitics Academy, Ankara, Turkey

E-mail address: dyildiz@hidropolitikakademi.org


Over the last decade, numerous studies have appeared in books and journals addressing the climate change impacts on water quantity and quality of the Euphrates and Tigris River Basins. When one focused to these studies it can be seen that several studies link the Syrian uprising and subsequent outbreak of civil war to the drought. it also seems that when the current civil war is over, the most important need will be implementation of a basin wide sustainable water management policy. Therefore this requires more cmprehensive studies on current situation and future threats of the basin. Some of the researches have stated in their recently published articles that, “a severe drought occurred by human-induced climate change and a mass migration of drought-affected farmers fled to Syria’s, then the influx of migrants exacerbated unemployment and inequality in the cities, contributing to civic unrest over a nonresponsive government”. Most researchers agree that climate change contributed to the drought in Syria and civil unrest crisis. Recent studies have also noted that there has been an natural declining trend in Tigris and Euphrates Streamflows That means that changes in flow are more closely related to natural diplomacy features than with human interventions in Tigris and Euphrates Basins. All this abovementioned results are alarming invitations to all riparian states in the Middle East to create a new hydro diplomacy. Keywords: Middle East water; Climate change; drought; water shortage; transboundary rivers; Tigris and Euphrates

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