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Basra downplays Turkey dam’s effect on water levels in Iraq

May 15, 2020 at 10:15 am

Ilisu Dam in Turkey [Nurol construction]

The Governor of Basra, Asaad Al-Eidani, downplayed the effect of the partial operation of the Turkish Ilisu Dam, built on the Tigris river, on the water supply in the governorate.

Al-Eidani said over the past few years, the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources has turned the area into marshes.

“Although the partial operation of Ilisu Dam may reduce the water quantities reaching Basra, the recent abundance of rains contributed to increasing the water level in the Iraqi marshes to 82 per cent which will serve the water situation in Iraq in general and in southern Iraq in particular,” he said.

Al-Eidani explained that the water levels arriving in Iraq have compensated for the years of drought in 2015-2017.

“Basra can take advantage of this water to end any water crisis that could occur during the summer season,” Al-Eidani said, noting that the high levels of water in the marshes will enhance their biological diversity and expand economic activity for the people.

“The Ministry of Water Resources has made it clear that the Turkish government’s plan will not have a negative impact on Iraq this year, and that the water level in Ilisu Dam has exceeded nine billion cubic metres this year and therefore it is likely that it will not need to reduce water rations,” he added.

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