Turkey, Atatürk dam

Climate change will bring wars for water in the Middle East

An EU report warns of challenges for Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran from dwindling water resources in the Tigris and Euphrates basin.

Climate change could bring wars and conflicts over water control in the Middle East, in which countries such as Turkey, Syria, Iran or Iraq would clash over the dwindling water resources of the Tigris and Euphrates basin, according to a report prepared by the EU entitled “Report on Climate Change and Water for the Tigris and Euphrates Basin”, which warns about the challenges and geopolitical and economic consequences that global warming will bring to the region.

As the document warns, climate change will aggravate the problems of supply, availability and quality of water that currently exist in the region, with an increase in the number and duration of dry periods and the expected reduction in rainfall, so “it will become more difficult to maintain crops and livelihoods dependent on ecosystems.”

“Failure to mitigate climate-related risks to water can contribute to poverty, food insecurity and unemployment in agricultural and rural communities, and ultimately lead to displacement and internal migrations in a larger scale than what we see today”, adds the text, which especially underlines the consequences that a reduction in the availability of drinking water will have for countries such as Iraq or Syria.

In addition, all this will generate economic losses and problems for the countries of the region, whose governments will see their resources reduced at a time when they will precisely need all possible resources to face serious situations, possibly on a much larger scale than they have seen before: s, States could face a collapse due to their inability to offer an adequate response.

“If the riparian States (with the Tigris and the Euphrates) do not increase their transboundary actions in water management, climate change will intensify water insecurity in the future”, says the report, assuring that this will trigger social conflicts throughout the Middle East region, and even wars. However, the study adds that “Turkey’s adaptive capacity, however, is considerably higher than that of other countries.”