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Integrated Water Losses Evaluation -- Tigris River

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Ali Helu (Cardiff, UK), Bettina Bockelmann-Evans, Michaela Bray
HRC - Cardiff University1

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 7: Global challenges for water governance,
AbstractAbstract: Already strained by water scarcity and political tensions, the semi-arid Tigris River Basin with a length of 1850km is losing critical water reserves at a rapid pace due to evapotranspiration, agriculture and domestic abstractions, from Turkey, Syria and Iran (upstream centuries) to the downstream country (Iraq). Accurate estimation of water losses is therefore important to manage the river's resources sufficiently. As a politically unstable region, the necessary decision making measurements to conduct water resources management plans have been highly interrupted. This study was initiated to improve estimates of river losses from just downstream of Mosul city in the northern region down to Basra, south Iraq. A methodology was developed for estimating evapotranspiration losses for Middle Eastern Rivers. Theoretical losses were estimated from a measured evaporation rate multiplied by the water surface area and an appropriate riparian vegetation area. Other river losses were also quantified by using a combination of different approaches. In addition, the hydraulic model (ISIS - Halcrow and HR Wallingford, 1995) was used to perform a dynamic water balance to verify the initial loss estimate. A complete river profile was developed in this study by using geographical dataset which has been extracted from an earth browser and processed by a GPS editor. As results to this study and another related study, simulated evapotranspiration rates have been calculated by Hargreaves Evaporation Mass Transfer (EMH) were found to be in the same order of magnitude to A-class pan evaporation data. The water losses found for Tigris River ranges from 69 million m3/a for an annual low flow release rate of 500 m3/s to 1,600 million m3/a for an annual release rate of 4000 m3/s. Keywords: Tigris River Basin, Water Losses, Potential Evapotranspiration, 3D RouteBuilder, Google Earth, ISIS.
2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association - - Admin