Integrated Environmental Assessment of Unsustainable Exploitation and Pollution of Shared Water Resources in Transboundary Basins of Semi-arid and Arid Regions. Case Study: Tigris-Euphrates River Basin

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Environmental Planning, Management and Education, Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Center for International Scientific Studies and Collaborations (CISSC), Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35401, USA

4 Department of Environmental Science, University of Zakho, Zakho, Kurdistan Region, Iraq



River basins perform the crucial role of providing water resources, especially in arid regions. Due to the nature of interconnection, human interventions and natural events will cause cumulative impacts on the downstream parts of river basins. The aim of this research is to identify and evaluate the impacts of interventions and changes occurring in the upstream of the Tigris-Euphrates River Basin on the downstream parts and provide strategies to reduce and control those effects. To achieve this purpose, multi-scaled investigation of the changes and dynamics of the land cover was performed and the causes and consequences of these changes were investigated using the Driving force-Pressure-Sate-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework. The results displayed an increase in the area of artificial lakes and agricultural lands and a decline in the area of rangelands and natural wetlands, especially in the downstream of the basin. The state of the ecosystem was under the influence of Driving forces such as population and industrial growth and political competitions of the littoral states, which led to pressure on the limited water resources and development of water management and control projects. The overall trends of changes in the state of the environment had created impacts on the ecosystem and communities that required urgent responses from the riparian countries. Finally, to foster water cooperation instead of non-constructive completions in this region, a framework was developed with an emphasis on creating a union of riparian countries and using their scientific potentials to provide effective and impartial solutions.


Main Subjects

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