Water Shortages and its Environmental Consequences within Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

Document identifier: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-76683
Keyword: Engineering and Technology, Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Teknik och teknologier, Samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geoteknik, Tigris River, Euphrates River, Water shortage, Environment, Iraq, Soil Mechanics
Publication year: 2019
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communitiesSDG 6 Clean water and sanitationSDG 2 Zero hunger
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by OSDG.ai


Water shortage problem is an international issue where 80 countries of the third world supporting 40% of the world’s population suffer from water shortage problems. There are 1.2 billion people suffering physically from water shortage problems and 1.8 billion lack adequate sanitation. In addition, in the Third World, about 80% of illnesses and 30% of unnatural deaths are due to water disease and polluted water. Future expectations indicate that 37 countries in 2015 will be having water shortage problems. Iraq was an exception till the seventies due to the presence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The flow of these rivers is decreasing due to climate change and building of dams within the upper parts of the catchments. Temperatures are increasing while rainfall is expected to decrease by (15-25%). This will cause reduction of surface water resources by (29-73%). As a consequence, groundwater resources will be depleted. Water shortage will lead to an increase in transpiration, reduction off arable land, decrease of natural vegetative cover, extended desertification, more dust storms and soil destruction. It is expected that Iraq in 2040 is expected to have -20.6 billion cubic meters shortage in its water requirements.


Nadhir Al-Ansari

Luleå tekniska universitet; Geoteknologi
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Nasrat Adamo

Consultant Engineer, Norrköping, Sweden
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Varoujan Sissakian

University of Kurdistan, Hewler, KRG, Iraq. Private Consultant Geologist, Erbil, Iraq.
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