HotSpots H2O, July 25: Turkish Dam Construction Strains Downstream Relations

The Global Rundown

Future dam construction in Turkey is straining relations with downstream Iran. The water network in Raqqa, Syria, is no longer functioning after a month of intense fighting between ISIL and Syrian forces. In Ukraine, two safety zones were established based on the location of water filtration stations. New dam and water diversion projects could lead to increased conflict in certain global hotspots, warns a recent study. The water supplies of Palestinian and Israeli settlers in West Bank are dwindling due to inadequate infrastructure.

“It’s scandalous. It’s impossible to accept that hundreds of families are drinking water out of bottles and barrels.” –Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, in reference to the current water shortage among Palestinian and Israeli settlers in West Bank. A combination of inadequate infrastructure, hot temperatures, increased agricultural activity, and water theft has left citizens of the region with limited water supply. Jerusalem Post

By The Numbers

480,000 Liters of water being provided daily to IDP sites near Raqqa, Syria. Heavy fighting in recent months has destroyed the water network in the city and forced over 200,000 people to flee their homes. Relief Web

2 Number of safety zones that were established last week in Ukraine, each centered on a water filtration station. Troops and military equipment are to be withdrawn immediately from the areas surrounding the Vasilevka First Pumping Station and the Donetsk Filtration Station, and no future military options are to take place there. Relief Web

Science, Studies, And Reports

A recent study commissioned by the United Nations identified 1400 planned dam and water diversion projects, and cautioned that many of them could lead to conflict. Researchers raised concerns over the lack of treaties in many areas of future construction, and named the Middle East, central Asia, the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin, and the Orange and Limpopo basins in southern Africa as potential hotspots. Science Daily

On The Radar

Twenty-two new dams are slated for construction in Turkey’s South Anatolia region, but Iranian environmentalists fear that the ambitious project could dry up two of Iran’s major water sources. Turkish authorities denied this possibility, saying that they will build the dams using all precaution. As construction begins, tensions between the two countries could escalate further. Sputnik News