Catastrophic pollution of Euphrates water 3 months after Turkey began to decline its level

The water of the Euphrates River within the Syrian territories is facing the threat of pollution, 3 months after Turkey began to confine large quantities of water, which led to an unprecedented and catastrophic decline in the level of the river.

Turkey began to detain the water of the Euphrates River since the 27th of last January, by pumping an amount of no more than 200 cubic meters per second of water to the Syrian lands, which is much less than what was agreed upon between the Syrian and Turkish governments in 1987.

The agreement stipulates that Turkey must allow the flow of water in a quantity of not less than 500 cubic meters per second to the Syrian lands, while Iraq will receive about 60 percent of this amount.

The Turkish breach of the agreement has led to a significant decline in the level of the river inside the Syrian territories, as the rate of decline exceeds 4 meters in Tishreen Dam Lake, and in the Euphrates Dam Lake, the decrease is more than 3 meters.

With the completion of 3 months since Turkey started to confine the Euphrates water on the Syrians, pollution has been threatening the river's waters, owing to the river's water stopping and the shells exit to the river's banks, which could cause an environmental and human catastrophe.

Despite the great risks that may result from this, the international community or human rights organizations have not issued any reaction or stance towards Turkey which is going on its policies, endangering the lives of millions of people who depend on this river.

Securing drinking water for a number of Syrian cities has become a challenge today, in addition to the sharp decrease in the hours of securing electric current to the areas of north eastern Syria that depend on the dams built on the Euphrates River to provide electricity.

This is in addition to the severe damage inflicted to fish stocks which affects fishermen.

Mohammed Tarboush, from the Dam Administration in North and East Syria, had warned of a real great humanitarian catastrophe awaiting the region, after the pollution that struck the Euphrates River after its water level decreased to a minimum.

Tarboush said in a previous statement to Hawar news agency a few days ago: "We are facing a real disaster with regard to drinking water because the low level of the river has led to water pollution, the flow of algae and shells that lead to the emergence of dangerous diseases such as cholera that usually appear in the summer that we are heading to, and most of the major cities in north eastern Syria depend on the water of the Euphrates River to secure drinking water."

He also warned that they are on the verge of another real disaster in the coming days with regard to agriculture because thousands of hectares of land planted with irrigated wheat depend mainly on the Euphrates River, especially in Raqqa, Tabqa and Deir Ezzor, and it needs irrigation water, especially with the drought that the region is experiencing as a result of the lack of rainfall this year.

Tarboush explained that "the decline in the level of the Euphrates River has negatively affected the electric power, so the people must be guides in the use of electricity," stressing the need for people to save electricity, which will enable them to supply the area with additional hours of electricity during this period.

The photo report prepared by Hawar news agency shows the dramatic decline in the level of the Euphrates and water pollution on the banks of the river.



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