Turkey, Syria and Iraq are in dispute as Turkey restricts water supply to Syria and Iraq, and simultaneously there are similar conditions in North Africa since water scarcity and the ambitious investment plans of governments threaten the water supply of local populations.
Between 1975 and 1991, Syria and Iraq threatened Turkey because of the reduced flow of the rivers due to the dams in Turkey. The climate change and the population growth have applied tremendous pressure on the fresh water in the region, increasing the impact of the construction of dams on both rivers.
Today, the Ataturk Dam in Euphrates has reduced the overall flow in Iraq by 33% and Ilisu and Cizre dams that will be completed soon, can reduce the flow of the Tigris by 50% .The full implementation of the ambitious Turkish ‘GAP project ', which aims to harness the rivers of Turkey for irrigation and power generation in southeast Anatolia, could reduce the flow of the Euphrates in Iraq by 80%.
The populations of the countries of North Africa already face the harsh reality of climate change, with longer periods of drought .And while people in the Sahara, for example, fight for water supplies that are needed in farming, the local governments make deals with multinational companies for oil and mining activities ignoring the extremely polluting activities.
The lack of water, energy, food, the land degradation and desertification, are the most serious problems that North Africa faces. And each of them, becomes worse due to the population growth in the region.