Turkish water policy’s devastating impact on North and East Syria’s water security and agriculture

HASAKAH, Syria — The dwindling water levels in the Euphrates River have rendered vast agricultural lands unproductive, casting a shadow over regions in the North and East of Syria.

Hammoud al-Hamadin, the administrator of Tishreen Dam, voiced concerns over the far-reaching consequences of Turkey’s water-cutting policies. He stressed that this strategy has resulted in lowered water levels, significantly impacting food security and agricultural output throughout the region.

Al-Hamadin underscored that Turkey’s approach to cutting off water has unleashed a series of detrimental effects, including challenges in securing potable water and halting dam operations for extended periods.

He emphasized that the ramifications extend beyond the immediate environment. The receding rivers have facilitated the spread of diseases and damaged agricultural seasons that hinge on water availability. This, in turn, has been a blow to both food security and economic productivity across the region.

The dam now operates at a fraction of its capacity, said al-Hamadin. Only two out of several turbines are operational for a mere seven hours each day.

Al-Hamadin holds the United Nations, Russia, and the US accountable for the worsening humanitarian crisis and the jeopardy it poses to food security. The Turkish occupation’s decision to curtail water flow from the Euphrates River threatens the lives of approximately seven million people in the region.

In an impassioned plea, al-Hamadin continued to urge the United Nations and human rights organizations to intervene decisively and put an end to the hostile tactics employed by the Turkish occupation. He emphasized the urgency of securing the region’s rightful share of water resources.