Turkish cutoff of Euphrates River water pushes Tishreen Dam Reservoir to critical levels, total shutdown of power generation imminent

MABBUG, Syria — The water crisis in North and East Syria has reached a critical point as the illegal reduction of the flow of the Euphrates River by Turkey has reduced the river and downstream reservoirs to historic lows. The Tishreen Dam Reservoir, located in the countryside of Mabbug (Manbij), North and East Syria, has experienced a drastic 85% decrease in its water level, raising serious concerns about an impending humanitarian disaster.

Hamoud Hamadin, the administrator at the Tishreen Dam, issued a grave warning, stating that the dam’s operation has come nearly to a complete halt. “The lake’s water level has dropped by approximately 4.5 meters out of its original depth of 5 meters,” he added, highlighting the severity of the situation.

The decreasing water levels have had a cascading effect on the dam’s functionality, with only 2 out of its 6 turbines operating at 70% capacity due to the reduced water flow. The dam now operates for only six hours a day and is at risk of a complete shutdown as its lake water level continues to deplete rapidly.

The little power that is produced is unable to meet the population’s needs, especially during the sweltering summer months.

The reduction of the water flow represents a serious breach of the 1987 water-sharing agreement, which mandates Turkey to pump 500 cubic meters of water per second from the Euphrates River towards Syria on a permanent basis. The flow rate has been restricted to a mere 200 cubic meters per second, leaving the dam and the surrounding areas grappling with the consequences of this significant water deficit.

The humanitarian and environmental implications of this situation cannot be understated, with the reduced water levels also leading to increased disease and destruction of marine habitat.

Immediate action and cooperation between relevant parties are imperative to address this escalating crisis. It is crucial for all stakeholders to work towards a sustainable solution that ensures fair water distribution, upholds the 1987 agreement, and safeguards the well-being of the affected population and ecology in the region.

The international community must take swift action to alleviate the suffering of the people in the affected areas and prevent irreversible consequences for the region’s people and ecology.