Impact of Climate Change on Shared Water Resources of the Euphrates Basin – Iraq

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The Arab region is highly dependent on shared water resources, with most Arab countries relying on a shared water supply with neighboring Arab states or with countries outside the region. More than a third of freshwater resources come from outside the region’s borders and, in terms of shared surface water, 14 out of 22 Arab countries share a surface water body. The region is also one of the rarest in the world for water. This scarcity manifests itself in the agricultural sector – a crucial source of food security and livelihoods in the region and the largest consumer of water, with an average of 80% of freshwater resources across the region destined for water. agricultural use. The predicted impacts of climate change on water availability will exacerbate existing pressures on water resources. These factors significantly affect the quantity and quality of freshwater supply to all water-dependent sectors, especially agriculture, threatening food security in the region. The Euphrates basin is a typical example of this situation.

This technical report presents a detailed case study on the assessment of the impacts of climate change on the use and availability of shared water resources in the Euphrates basin in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic. It includes an analysis of the localized impacts of climate change on wheat yields and a discussion of the impacts of climate change on GDP in the basin. The regional climate projections for the Mashreq domain used to inform this report were produced by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. The study was carried out as part of a project focusing on water and food security in a changing climate, led by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

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