As to why Turkey has started working on water management in Iraq, will not come without any ulterior motives. Media reports confirm that Turkey is initiating a filling drive for a huge hydroelectric dam on the Tigris River. It is evident that Istanbul wishes to extract huge amounts of electricity which the dam project is capable of generating.
The flow of water is huge and this has been confirmed by a lawmaker and environmental activists and this is being done despite protests that it will displace thousands of people and risks creating water shortages downstream in Iraq. Water build is evident behind the Ilisu dam.
This has been a long lost project over the decades and had aimed to generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity for southeast Turkey.
While the water flow into the dam, will mean improvement of Southeast Turkey’s living population, it will also mean catastrophic water shortage in Iraq. The dam had gained Turkish government approval in 1997. But the water was not released by Turkey then.
According to Iraq, the dam will create water shortages by reducing flows in one of two rivers which the country depends on for much of its supplies. Around 70% of Iraq’s water supplies flow from neighboring countries, especially via the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which run through Turkey.