Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Turkish dam won’t impact Iraq’s water supply: Diplomat

Turkish dam won’t impact Iraq’s water supply
The accumulation of water at a Turkish dam located on the Tigris River will not adversely affect Iraq’s water supply, Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad Fatih Yildiz said Wednesday.

At a press conference held in the Iraqi capital, Yildiz said that the filling up of a reservoir associated with Turkey’s Ilisu Dam -- a process that began last week -- would take approximately one year.

He went on to stress, however, that Iraq’s water supply would not be impacted by the move.

According to Yildiz, Turkey seeks to safeguard the regional water supply and is coordinating closely with Baghdad in this regard.

In May, Baghdad and Ankara signed an agreement specifying the quantities of water that would emanate from the dam.

“When we begin holding water at the Ilisu Dam, this doesn’t mean the water supply will be cut off,” Yildiz said.

Under the terms of the May agreement, he explained, “much of the water will continue to go to Iraq”.

Yildiz also said Turkey would not take any significant steps in regard to the dam without first consulting neighboring countries.

“We are taking joint -- not unilateral -- steps, as the water belongs to all the riparian states,” he said.

The ambassador further explained that the Ilisu Dam was not intended for irrigation but for electricity production.

1 comment :

  1. Iraq is surprised by Turkey’s decision to start holding back water behind its Ilisu dam earlier than promised, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday, suggesting it was done to win support for the government in upcoming elections...

    Turkey has started filling the dam basin, a step that has alarmed neighboring Iraq, which is struggling with a water crisis.

    “The Turkish prime minister had promised me they would start filling the dam at the end of June, not the start, so I was surprised to see they started,” Abadi told a news conference.

    “I am aware that they have elections on June 24 and perhaps need to get the support of farmers,” he added, referring to Turkey’s planned general elections for president and parliament.


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