Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database | Publications

MacQuarrie, Patrick. 2004. Water Security in the Middle East: Growing Conflict Over Development in the Euphrates-Tigris Basin.Trinity College, Dublin. Master's Thesis. [PDF file]

ABSTRACT:
Water security of riparian states in the Euphrates-Tigris Basin is increasingly under threat. Continuing conflict over the allocation of water is failing to produce a tripartite agreement between Turkey , Syria and Iraq . Massive hydrodevelopment in southern Turkey threatens to reduce Syrian water on the Euphrates by over 40 percent, and Iraqi water by over 80 percent. After reviewing hydrology in the Euphrates-Tigris Basin , Chapter II gives an analysis of the factors affecting Turkey 's water security, outlining the GAP project, Kurdish issue and Turkey 's political aspirations. Chapter III addresses water security for Syria and Iraq and accounts for recent conflicts over water usage. Particular attention is given to Syria and Iraq 's historic rights, irrigation projects, dependence on agriculture and relationship with Kurdistan . Finally, Chapter IV looks at the relationship between water scarcity, expanding resource security and ethical river use, followed by an account of failed attempts at cooperation between riparians and the application of international watercourse law. The research suggests resource security is increasingly political and faces increased threats in the next forty years. Perspectives towards an ethical basin-wide management plan end the thesis in the overall conclusions.