Trends and future challenges of water resources in the Tigris–Euphrates Rivers basin in Iraq
 Journal: (issn: 16077938, eissn: 16077938)

Related identifiers: doi: 10.5194/hessd10146172013
Iraq is one of the riparian countries within basins of
Tigris–Euphrates Rivers in the Middle East region. The region is
currently facing water shortage problems due to the increase of the
demand and climate changes. In the present study, average monthly
water flow measurements for 15 stream flow gaging stations within
basins of these rivers in Iraq with population growth rate data in
some of its part were used to evaluate the reality of the current
situation and future challenges of water availability and demand in
Iraq. The results showed that Iraq receives annually
70.29 km<sup>3</sup> of water 45.4 and 25.52 km<sup>3</sup> from
River Tigris and Euphrates respectively. An amount of
18.04 km<sup>3</sup> is supplied by its tributaries inside Iraq. The
whole amount of water in the Euphrates Rivers comes outside the
Iraqi borders. Annual decrease of the water inflow is
0.1335 km<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup> for Tigris and
0.245 km<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup> for Euphrates. This implies the annual
percentage reduction of inflow rates for the two rivers is
0.294 and 0.960% respectively. Iraq consumes annually
88.89% (63.05 km<sup>3</sup>) of incoming water from the two
rivers, where about 60.43 and 39.57% are from Rivers Tigris and
Euphrates respectively. Water demand increases annually by
0.896 km<sup>3</sup>; of which 0.5271 and
0.475 km<sup>3</sup> within Tigris and Euphrates basins
respectively. The average water demand in 2020 will increase to
42.844 km<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup> for Tigris basin and for Euphrates
29.225 km<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup> (total 72.069 km<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup>),
while water availability will decrease to
63.46 km<sup>3</sup> yr<sup>−1</sup>. This means that the overall water
shortage will be restricted to 8.61 km<sup>3</sup>.

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