Changes in the water quantity and quality of the Euphrates River are associated with natural aspects of the landscape
The Euphrates River basin is a transboundary river system divided into three sections: the
upstream (Turkey), middle stream (Syria), and downstream (Iraq). The total basin area is
440,000 square km, of which 28% is in Turkey (123,200 square km), 22% in Syria (96,800
square km), and 47% in Iraq (206,800 square km).
The three sections display distinctive features. In the Turkish stretch, the Euphrates crosses
a mountainous relief and receives several perennial tributaries until it reaches Syria.
Anatolian snow that melts from April to June also contributes to the river.
In the Syrian section i.e. middle stream, the landscape is transitional between the Turkey’s
cold and Iraq’s desert. The river receives just three perennial tributaries and the basin
shows an increasing trend towards aridness.
In the lower section in Iraq, the river receives no more contributions from tributaries until
its convergence with the river Tigris. Their convergence constitutes a large alluvial delta
and this region is subject to regular and intense flooding which increases the evaporation
surface. Overall, the basin increases in aridity in Iraq.
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