AGENTS OF CHANGE YOUTH FELLOWSHIP - Managing Water Scarcity in an Age of Climate Change:
14 January 2024
and the local average in its arid southeastern Up until the 1970s, the main challenge in the parts, where the Euphrates and Tigris originate, basin was flooding, and the relative abundance could be even lower. [...] In either case, Turkey is of water both minimized the conflict over shar- projected to experience high water stress by ing it and negated the need for a water sharing 2040.8 structure.14 After the countries began construct- At 80% of total usage, agriculture is the largest ing large dams in the 1960s, claims over water water consumer in the region,9 and it could rights on the rivers grew more comp. [...] Indeed, some commentators have and Iraq, with the backing of the Arab League, argued that this hydro-geographic advantage campaigned to stop the construction of Birecik elevates Turkey to the status of a hegemon.25 Dam in Turkey.19 The three countries also have fundamental In the 2000s, there was a brief period of en- disagreements over applying the international hanced dialogue and attempts for b. [...] The For a long time, data in the basin has been committee would also identify the water treated as a strategic asset to use as leverage needs of the basin’s ecosystems and endan- in negotiations, instead of as an essential ele- gered species and monitor the water levels ment of collaboration and sound decision-mak- throughout the basin to make sure all water ing. [...] For example, hydropower output the rivers with the current reality and convince in Turkey, which meets 20-30% of the country’s their water users to accept and prepare for the electricity demand, was down 23% in 2021 climate future of the basin.