An Iranian official has urged active diplomacy with Turkey towards tackling the problem of dust storms, which chronically blight regional states as a result of Ankara’s massive dam building projects.
As part of its Southeastern Anatolia Project known as GAP, Turkey has built 22 dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which also run across Syria, Iraq and Iran.
The project has reportedly reduced water flow in the rivers’ basin by 34 percent and caused 94 percent of the Mesopotamia to dry up, kicking up dust storms in Syria and Iraq which head to Iran and cripple life in its southwestern and western provinces.
Hedayat Fahmi of Iran’s Energy Ministry said on Sunday Turkey was exacerbating the situation by continuing to build more dams, leaving more parched river basins which become new breeding grounds for dust storms.
‘Water wars likely’
Expert projections, Fahmi said, hold that the Middle East would be losing as much as 10 percent of its water resources by 2045. Over the same period, the demand for water in the region would increase by 60 percent, he said, adding this could even lead to regional wars.
“To tackle the problem of fine particles in the country, the four countries are needed to interact and engage in water diplomacy toward ensuring their entitlement to joint water resources,” Fahmi said.
Full article: Iran official urges pressure on Turkey over dams (Press TV)