Tigris River at the risk of running dry

Piroz Zırığ

ŞIRNAK- Prepared ÇED (Environmental impact assessment) reports, unsupervised sand quarries, dams and hydroelectric power plants (HES), do great damages on the Tigris River. Professor Dr. Beyza Üstün draws attention on the nature destruction and emphasized that hydroelectric power plants (HES) and dams should be made nonfunctional and that their doors should be opened in order to return the river to previous condition.

Tigris River, one of the most important water resources in Turkey, heads for the last roundup because the sand quarries, hydroelectric power plants (HES) and dams have started to work. The river, which lose water due to hot weather, has been also destroyed by people. The drought in the river has increased due to uncontrolled water storage of dams. Professor Dr. Beyza Üstün draws attention that many dams have been built on Tigris River, and she says that the river water is kept by companies and when you look at the dams on the river you can see the drought in the river with your own eyes.

Stating that the companies, which build the dams, disobey the law of conservation of rivers, Beyza emphasizes that Tigris valley doesn’t needs 10-15 percentage of water that will be left by the companies, it needs all water of Tigris River.

‘River bed is changed’

Beyza pointed out that the Tigris River has been damaged not only sand quarries and dams, but also by Directorate General for State of Hydraulic Works (DSI), and Cizre Municipality, whose elected mayor was replaced by an appointed trustee. Mentioned that the DSI), which should take measure for protecting river bed, has been changed the river bed for building parks nearby the river with the municipality, Beyza emphasized that the DSI has also built a barrier between the river. Stating that authorities spent water without recognizing any laws, Beyza drew attention that the balance of ecosystem is being destroyed. Beyza also said that this nature destruction doesn’t have any legal basis, and that the right of using river only belongs to people who live nearby river and that the people can use water of river for meeting needs of drinking water for them and animals in that region.

‘Construction equipment damage all living creatures’

Drawing attention to destruction of sand quarries on the river, Beyza said: “Sand quarries are generally built on empty river beds. However, this place is deepening by construction equipment. Thus, they damage the ground of river. They also damage all living creatures of the river by using construction equipment.” Saying that the destruction of dams on rivers causes a drought in Cizre, Beyza emphasized that the only thing should be done is that the state should cancel the contracts and should allow the water to flow freely as soon as possible.