Impact of Syrian Civil War on Water Quality of Turkish Part of Orontes River

Document Type : Original Research Paper


İskenderun Technical University, Faculty of Marine Sciences and Technology, Department of Water Resources Management and Organization, 31200, Hatay, Turkey


Surface waters become more and more polluted, depending on human activities around them. The current study has been conducted to evaluate the impact of Syrian civil war on water quality of the Turkish part of Orontes River. For so doing, it has obtained monitoring data between 2006 and 2014 from state of Hydraulic Works of Turkey, analyzing them via Water Quality Index (WQI) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). WQI reveals that water quality in Orontes River has dropped sharply after 2011 and slightly improved by 2013. This time interval overlaps with Syrian civil war when conflicts between regime forces and dissidents occurred densely. Therefore, it can be concluded that Syrian civil war has impacted the water quality of Turkish water’s with potential causes of water quality degradation identified as polluters from conflicts and immigration activities. In addition, this research has conducted PCA to investigate indicator parameters, representing the water quality variation as a result of war. Results showed that NO2- and NO3- concentration in the surface water can be used as main indicators of Syrian civil war's impact on water quality. Finally, it may said that anthropogenic activities happening in the Turkish part of the watershed also contribute to the pollution level of river, especially domestic and industrial discharges.


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