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News Syria has a water crisis. And it’s not going away

In May 2021, the flow of the Euphrates River in northeast Syria fell to an all-time low, causing the worst drought since 1953. Months later, in September 2021, Hammoud al-Hamadin, an engineer at the Tishreen dam, located southeast of Mambij in Aleppo province, warned of a historic and terrifying decline in its water level. Since the Euphrates is the primary water source for agriculture, domestic consumption, and electricity production in northern and eastern Syria, the crisis has affected all three vital sectors. The dramatic drop in water storage of the Tabqa, Tishreen, and Baath dams on the Euphrates threatens agricultural production on more than 475,000 acres (two hundred thousand hectares) of irrigated land.In addition to agricultural production, potable water provision is also under threat. Drinking water is rationed all over the country, forcing people to rely on unsafe water sources or choose expensive private water trucking services. The lack of sanitized water has alarming consequences for public health, compounded further due to the coronavirus pandemic. The three Euphrates dams provide around 70 percent of the electricity consumed in Syria. Currently, only four of the eight turbines at the Tabqa dam are working due to a water shortage. As a result of the water shortage since May 2021, there have been drastic effects on the Syrian populace. For example, some neighborhoods in the provincial town of Hasakeh in the northeast and the suburbs of Damascus receive only two hours of electricity per day. Even parts of central Damascus experience power outages of up to eighteen hours a day.

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
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Source of information atlanticcouncil
Geographical coverage Syria,
News date 19/03/2022
Working language(s) ENGLISH