درهم تنیدگی آب، سیاست و محیط‌زیست در حوضه آبریز دجله و فرات

نوع مقاله: مقاله پژوهشی

نویسندگان

1 استادیار، گروه مهندسی آب، دانشکده کشاورزی، دانشگاه تربیت مدرس

2 استادیار حقوق، دانشگاه فردوسی مشهد

چکیده

منابع آبی مشترک می‌توانند یک عامل هم برای مشارکت و همکاری و هم تنش و درگیری بین کشورهای ساحلی باشند. آب در کنار نفت، در حیات امنیتی و سیاسی منطقه غرب آسیا نقش و اهمیت ژئوپلیتیکی بسزایی داشته و دارد به گونه‌ای که مناسبات سیاسی و امنیتی بین کشورهای این منطقه را تحت­تأثیر جدی خود قرار داده است. حوضه دجله و فرات بعنوان یکی از پرتنش‌ترین حوضه‌های آبریز فرامرزی دنیا و بزرگ‌ترین حوضه آبریز فرامرزی در منطقه غرب آسیا، از درهم‌تنیدگی‌های متعدد تاریخی، سیاسی، امنیتی، اقتصادی، اجتماعی و ژئوپلیتیکی با آب برخوردار است. بی‌اعتمادی سیاسی باقی‌مانده از گذشته و رقابت منطقه­ای بین کشورهای ساحلیِ رودخانه­های دجله و فرات تحت ساختار جنگ سرد، مناقشات آبی را از مسائل فنی به مسائل سیاسی و موردی برای تقابل به جای همکاری در منطقه تبدیل کرده است.  هدف از این مقاله، بررسی وضعیت هیدروپلیتیک حوضه آبریز فرامرزی دجله و فرات و بررسی اقدامات کشورهای ساحلی برای تسلط بر منابع مشترک این کشور با تمرکز بر پروژه آناتولی جنوب شرقی (گاپ) ترکیه است. نتایج مطالعات نشان می­دهد که ظرفیت سدها و سازه‌های احداث شده کشورهای ساحلی بر روی رودخانه فرات بیش از سه برابر آورد کل سالیانه این حوضه است. این در حالی­ست که ظرفیت این سازه‌ها بر روی رودخانه دجله حدود پنج برابر است. نتایج بیانگر درهم‌تنیدگی جدی مسائل آب و محیط‌زیست با مسائل سیاسی و امنیتی در این حوضه است. علاوه‌بر این، اثرات جدی تغییرات اقلیمی بر افزایش دما، کاهش بارش، همچنین کاهش میزان رواناب سطحی و کاهش پتانسیل تولید انرژی برقابی؛ در کنار عدم اعتماد و رقابت جدی کشورهای ساحلی برای تسلط هر چه بیشتر بر منابع آبی حوضه، نگرانی‌های بسیار جدی در خصوص آینده این حوضه ایجاد کرده است که در صورت ادامه رویکردهای گذشته، می‌تواند آب و اثرات زیست‌محیطی حاصل از ایجاد سازه‌های آبی را در این حوضه از فاز فنی- سیاسی وارد فاز نظامی- امنیتی نماید.

کلیدواژه‌ها


عنوان مقاله [English]

Complexity of Water, Politics, and Environment in the Euphrates and Tigris River Basins

نویسندگان [English]

  • Hojjat Mianabadi 1
  • azam Amini 2
1 Department of Water Engineering, ​Faculty of Agriculture Tarbiat Modares University
2 Assistant Professor of Law, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
چکیده [English]

Extended Abstract
Intrduction
Shared water resources can be a source of both cooperation and conflict among riparian countries  (Mianabadi, Sheikhmohammady, Mostert, & Van de Giesen, 2014). Water, along with oil, plays a major geopolitical role in the security and political life of the West Asia region, and has had a serious impact on the political and security relations among the countries of the region. Among 286 transboundary river basins, the Euphrates and Tigris River Basins (ETRB), as one of the most challenging transboundary river basin in the world and the largest transboundary basin area in the West Asia, have diverse historical, political, security, economic, social, and geopolitical complexity with water. Building national security is a dominant phenomenon in the West Asia that has been under a dynamic interaction with water issues due to multiple controversies and relations of riparian countries of international rivers in this region. Accordingly, management and utilization of transboundary river absins, especially in this region, is more sensitive and complex than national and local basins (Mianabadi, Mostert, & Van de Giesen, 2015).
After the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the beginning of 20th century, three new countries including Turkey, Syria, and Iraq formed which were riparian states neighboring the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. With the collapse of this Empire, hydro-political activities of riparian countries for even more but limited domination over shared water resources in this basin have resulted in different political and security challenges in this critical area. Large scaled irrigation and hydropower projects that started in 1960s by riparian states of the ETRB, regarded as a threat to national security of the other neighboring countries and these countries made efforts to stop such attempts through various measures. For example, the tension between Iraq and Syria in 1975 over construction and operation of Tabqa dam in Syria and reduction in flow of the Euphrates River went on to the brink of a full-fledged war, as such that Iraq threatened Syria by bombing Tabqa dam. This conflict was the reason for these two to deploy their forces in boundaries of the other state, but ultimately, it ended through mediation of Saudi Arabia and USSR (Korkutan, 2001; Sadeghi, 1997). Some research reveal that at least 40% of the Euphrates flow to downstrearm riparians has been lost due to over-exploitation since 1972 and the overall flow of the river is expected to reduce further and faster in the coming decade, exacerbated by climate change (Shamout & Lahn, 2015).
Methodology
The purpose of this study is to investigate hydro-political status of ETRB and to examine measures of riparian states to dominate the shared water resources of the region, especially the Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP) by Turkey. Therefore, at first, we will introduce climate, geographical, and hydrological status of the region through an analytical-descriptive approach and by studying books and articles and collecting various data from valid scientific websites as well as analyzing different documents and information provided by international organizations including UNDP and UNEP. Then we will scrutinize Euphrates and Tigris river basin water utilization projects of Syria, Iraq, and Turkey, particularly GAP project. In addition, we briefly deliberate possible impacts of climate change on the region in a overview.
Result and discussion
The ETRB is a shared basin among seven countries consisting of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan. In most studies about the ETRB, three countries including Turkey, Iraq, and Syria- were investigated and Iran and Saudi Arabia are less examined and it has been confined to only taking them into account as being geographically present in this basin.
Table 1. The Euphrates and Tigris River Basin (N. A. Al-Ansari, 2013; N. Al-Ansari & Knutsson, 2011; ESCWA & BGR, 2013)




Country


Tigris River


Euphrates River




 


Catchment Area (km2)


Total Catchment Area (%)


Catchment Area (km2)


Total Catchment Area (%)




Turkey


54145


24.5


125000


28.2




Syria


884


0.4


76000


17.1




Iraq


123981


56.1


177000


39.9




Iran


41990


19


-


-




Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan


-


-


66000


14.9




Total


221000


100


444000


100




 
Table 2. Potential of Flow Generation and Length of the River in the ETRB





Country


Tigris River


 


Euphrates River


 




Length of the river (Kliot, 1994)


Water potential of the river and total catchment area (%) (Ibrahim & Sonmez, 2002; Kucukmehmetoglu, 2009; Lupu, 2002; TMFA (Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs), 1996)


Length of the river (Kliot, 1994)


Water potential of the river and total catchment area (%)
(Kaya, 1998; Kucukmehmetoglu, 2009; Lupu, 2002; Zawahri, 2006)




Turkey


400 km (32 %)


25240 (52 %)


1230 km (41 %)


31580 (89 %)




Syria


32 km (1%)


0


710 km (23 %)


4000 (11 %)




Iraq


1418 (77 %)


23430 (48 %)


1060 (36 %)


0




Total


1850 km (100 %)


48670 (100 %)


3000 (100 %)


35580 (100 %)





The contribution of Iran and Iraq is respectively 10% and 38%  (Kaya, 1998).
Summary of development projects in the ETRB
Table 3 indicates the capacity of constructed and under construction infrastructures of riparian states including -Turkey, Iraq, and Syria in the Euphrates and Tigris basin.
Table 3. Capacity of constructed and under construction infrastructures of the riparian states in the ETRB




River


Turkey


Syria


Iraq


Total


% of total flow of basin




Storage Capacity (BCM)


% of total Catchment


Storage Capacity


% of total Catchment


Storage Capacity (BCM)


% of total Catchment


 




The Tigris River Basin


17.6


35 %


1.5


3 %


130


260 %


149


Thrice




The Euphrates River Basin


98


325 %


17.7


59 %


37.6


125 %


153


Quintuple




Total


115.6


145 %


19.2


25 %


167.6


210 %


302


Three
eighths



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



As shown in this table, the capacity of constructed and under construction infrastructures of the riparian states on the Euphrates River basin contain more than three times of total annual runoff of the basin while this rate for the Tigris River is about five times. Despite this fact that about 89% of the Euphrates originates from Turkey, according to table 2, the country is able to store more than triple the annual average flow of the Euphrates basin. Furthermore, the storage capacity of Turkey’s structures and dams on the Tigris is 17.6 BCM that exceeds the natural annual average flow volume of the the Tigris at Cizre near borders of Turkey and Syria (approximately 16.8 BCM). It shows that Turkey is able to store the total water flowing in its territory in this basin.
In addition, the total capacity of the dams and structures constructed in Turkey on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is more than 1.5 times the total, which is more than twice as large for Iraq.
Moreover, total capacity of constructed structures and dams of Turkey on Euphrates and Tigris is more than 1.5 times as high as the total natural flow of the basin, these numbers, however, is more than two times for Iraq. Table 6 also indicates that capacity of the constructed structures on the Tigris and Euphrates is more than 300 BCM, which is four times higher than the total available water resources in the basin. Among these, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq have allocated more than 40 percent, more than 6 percent, and near 54 percent of this capacity, respectively.
Conclusion
Results of this study indicate that there is a serious complexity between environmental issues and political and security problems in the region. Studies show that by mere focusing on a country and only concentrating on the GAP project including the Illisu dam on the Tigris, we cannot understand and analyze the complexity of hydro-political issues and challenges in this basin. In addition, the influential impacts of climate change include warming temperatures, decreases in precipitation, increases in the frequency or intensity of some extreme weather events, and runoff as well as the hydroelectric power generation decline, along with distrust and serious competition of the riparian states have led to serious concerns about the future of the basin.This can militarize and securitize water and environmental impacts of constructed hydro-structures rather than being a technical-political issue. Generally, some main overarching challenges concern riparians in this basin including climate change, the weak institutional capacity of the riparian states to cooperate over shared utilization of benefits of the basin, and last but not the least, historical background and mistrust among riparian countries. They could turn water and environmental impacts caused by construction of hydro-structures from the technical-political phase to the military-security once. To tackle these challenges, a comprehensive hydro-political approach that simultaneously considers legal, political, economic, technical and security aspects is essential to managing conflict in this basin. For this purpose, comprehensive studies along with holistic approach in the legal, political, economic, security and environmental fields are necessary.

کلیدواژه‌ها [English]

  • Transboundary Waters
  • hydropolitic
  • Euphrates and Tigris
  • Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP)

 

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