Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Huge Dam Threatens Tigris River Watershed

Energy
Huge Dam Threatens Tigris River Watershed

Iraq Upper Tigris Waterkeeper

Nature Iraq, ISCCI, CDO and the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyfe alive, with the support of hundreds of other local and international organizations, are working side by side on a  campaign to raise awareness about the Ilisu dam.

The small village Ilisu, on the Tigris River, has become well known recently not because it is located in the cradle of our civilization, in Mesopotamia, but because one of the most disastrous dam projects in the world is to be built there. If this dam is built, the cultural and natural heritage of Mesopotamia is in great danger. The dam is designed to impound an area of more than 310 square kilometers and would impact the right to food and water of thousands of people in and around the planned reservoir as well as downstream.

The huge dam threatens precious ecosystems hosting numerous endangered species, hundreds of archaeological sites including the ancient town of Hasankeyf in Turkey, as well as the Mesopotamian marshes in Southern Iraq. The Marshlands, which historically covered more than 20,000 square kilometers of interconnected lakes, mudflats and wetlands, were once the third largest wetlands in the world. The wetlands and their people, the marsh dwellers, will be under imminent threat again.

One of the elements of the campaign is collecting signatures for a petition to UNESCO to request them to prioritize the submission of the Central Marshes as a World Heritage Site. The Iraqi government has initiated the process but the submission process takes more than two years. The Ilisu Dam threatens the marshes and in two years there will be nothing left to present to the World Heritage Committee. The other component of the campaign is an open letter to Andritz, the Austrian company that is part of the consortium building the Ilisu dam. The letter calls on the company to withdraw from the project until negotiations on equitable shares on the Tigris are agreed with riparian countries. In addition outreach events will be organized in order to inform people about the consequences of dams.

The campaign started online and has reached more than 30,000 signatures.

We ask you to sign this petition to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Visit EcoWatch’s WATER page for more related news on this topic.

 

The Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, New York, a polluted nearly 2 mile-long waterway that is an EPA Superfund site. Jonathan Macagba / Moment / Getty Images

Thousands of Superfund sites exist around the U.S., with toxic substances left open, mismanaged and dumped. Despite the high levels of toxicity at these sites, nearly 21 million people live within a mile of one of them, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The National Weather Service station in Chatham, Massachusetts, near the edge of a cliff at the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Bryce Williams / National Weather Service in Boston / Norton

A weather research station on a bluff overlooking the sea is closing down because of the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Amsterdam is one of the Netherlands' cities which already has "milieuzones," where some types of vehicles are banned. Unsplash / jennieramida

By Douglas Broom

  • If online deliveries continue with fossil-fuel trucks, emissions will increase by a third.
  • So cities in the Netherlands will allow only emission-free delivery vehicles after 2025.
  • The government is giving delivery firms cash help to buy or lease electric vehicles.
  • The bans will save 1 megaton of CO2 every year by 2030.

Cities in the Netherlands want to make their air cleaner by banning fossil fuel delivery vehicles from urban areas from 2025.

Read More Show Less
Protestors stage a demonstration against fracking in California on May 30, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

A bill that would have banned fracking in California died in committee Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER / E+ / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

As world leaders prepare for this November's United Nations Climate Conference in Scotland, a new report from the Cambridge Sustainability Commission reveals that the world's wealthiest 5% were responsible for well over a third of all global emissions growth between 1990 and 2015.

Read More Show Less