Turkey, Iraq and Syria to Form Collaborative Water Institute

The Middle East is an area rich in oil reserves but without ample water supplies to sustain a growing populace.

Over 21 politically distinct countries and jurisdictions maintain 5% of the world's total inhabitants with less than 1% of the world's water reserves. At times, coming to an agreement on how to share the three river systems (the Jordan, Nile, and Tigris-Euphrates) that traverse the region make water policy a virtual nightmare.

Now three countries are coming forward to resolve past arguments on transboundary water issues. Turkey, Iraq, and Syria will soon form an institute to study water in the Middle East, as detailed in The Zaman (a major Turkish newspaper).

Experts, scholars, and professionals from each country will begin meetings at Turkey's Atatürk Dam to share information and work on resolving past water-allocation problems.

Goals of the institute include:


  • Develop and share information on irrigation and potable water technology.
  • Map water resources in the Middle East.

  • Release a report on effective water management in each country (for release on April 15th).


Management of water storage and dams in the region will be an aspect of the institute's endeavors. Turkey and Syria will attempt joint construction of a dam on the Asi River.
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