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The Ilisu Dam and Its Impact on the Mesopotamian Marshes of Iraq: Implications for the Future Directions of International Water Law

In: Brill Research Perspectives in International Water Law
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  • 1 University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law LLM International Water and Environmental Law, Sacramento, CA, USA
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Abstract

The law of international watercourses has been successful in providing some measure of assistance in conflict avoidance and resolution. However, evolution of this body of law, which has been gradual in nature, is facing challenges adapting to climate change and its grave consequences. Climate change is causing the glaciers of the world to melt, and resulting in unpredictable shifts in patterns of rainfall, thus seriously impacting shared watercourses. The history and ecology of the Tigris Euphrates Basin, and the issues surrounding Turkey’s recent impoundment of water behind the Ilisu Dam on the Tigris, provide an example highlighting such challenges. This monograph argues that international collaboration over transboundary watercourses is imperative for maintaining peace and stability and should force us to think of new ways to address these newly emerging and growing challenges in this field.

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