Water Quality and its Environmental Implications within Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

Document identifier: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-76684
Keyword: Engineering and Technology, Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Teknik och teknologier, Samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geoteknik, Tigris River, Euphrates River, Water Quality, Environment, Iraq, Soil Mechanics
Publication year: 2019
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communitiesSDG 6 Clean water and sanitationSDG 14 Life below water
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by OSDG.ai


Iraq relies greatly on the water of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. These rivers rise in Turkey. As far as the water quality of the Tigris River, when it enters the Turkish- Iraqi border is considered normal where the total dissolved salts do not exceed 450ppm. In Iraq, the salinity increases downstream and it reached undesirable limits downstream Baghdad. As far as the Euphrates River is concerned, the salinity of its water reached 600ppm at the Syrian-Iraqi border. The salinity increases downstream and it reaches 1500ppm downstream Kufa city. This indicates that the salinity of the major Rivers (Tigris, Euphrates and Karkheh) that are supply Shatt Al-Arab River with water is increasing with time. Causes of water quality deterioration is due to several factors. These are: i) construction of dams and irrigation projects in the upper parts of the catchments and the reduction of flow of these rivers ii) Al-Tharthar Scheme, where some water from this reservoir having salinity of 2500ppm is diverted to the River Euphrates iii) Agricultural and Irrigation Projects iv) dumping wastewater directly to the rivers v) Waste of Wars vi) Climate Change vii) disposal of solid waste directly to the rivers viii) Population Growth. All these factors are affecting the population and the environment in Iraq.


Nadhir Al-Ansari

Luleå tekniska universitet; Geoteknologi
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Sadeq Jawad

Advisory Commission for the Iraqi Prime Minister, Baghdad, Iraq
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Nasrat Adamo

Consultant Engineer, Norrköping, Sweden
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Varoujan Sissakian

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