Water Security in Post-War Iraq and Turkey

with Julia Harte & Anna Ozbek

hosted by Chris Gratien

For the past decade, media coverage of politics and life in Iraq has been dominated by the issues of the destructive American invasion and its aftermath. Often lost among these images are the stories of how life persists. In this episode, Julia Harte and Anna Ozbek discuss a journey up the Tigris (partially funded by a National Geographic Young Explorers grant) and their investigations of the local policies, politics, and problems surrounding water usage and management in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. We discuss the effects of recent policies and the anticipated impacts of ongoing projects from the restoration of the Iraqi marshes to the construction of the Ilısu Dam in Eastern Anatolia.

Julia Harte is a journalist and is currently studying at the Columbia School of Journalism (see her blog)
Anna Ozbek is a freelance video journalist currently based in New York City
Chris Gratien is a doctoral student at Georgetown University researching the social and environmental history of the modern Middle East (academia.edu)

Episode No. 134
Release date: 11 December 2013
Location: Columbia University
Editing and production by Chris Gratien

Left to Right: Anna Ozbek and Julia Harte (Source: Samad Ali)

Julia Harte's dispatches in National Geographic Newswatch

Hasankeyf Matters

Nature Iraq Foundation

Drilish, Heike, et. al. "Dodgy Deal: Ilısu Dam Project." Banktrack (most recently updated in 2013).

Hakki, Murat Metin. "An Analysis of the Legal Issues Concerning Turkey’s Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP)." World Affairs, Vol. 169, No. 4. (2007), pp. 175-180.

Hritz, Carrie. "Tracing Settlement Patterns and Channel Systems in Southern Mesopotamia Using Remote Sensing." Journal of Field Archeology, Vol. 35, No. 2. (2010), pp. 184-203.

Kitoh, Akio, et. al. "First super-high-resolution model projection that the ancient 'Fertile Crescent' will disappear in this century." Hydrological Research Letters, Vol. 2. (2008).
Ronayne, Margaret. The Cultural and Environmental Impact of Large Dams in Southeast Turkey. Kurdish Human Rights Project, 2005.

Voss, Katalyn, et. al. "Groundwater depletion in the Middle East from GRACE with implications for transboundary water management in the Tigris-Euphrates-Western Iran region." Water Resources Research, Vol. 49. (2012), pp. 1-11.

Wilson, Ryan. "Water-Shortage Crisis Escalating in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin." Future Directions International, (2012).


"An inside look at the Ilısu Dam," Anna Ozbek and Julia Harte

"Agriculture Withers in Mesopotamia," Julia Harte and Anna Ozbek

Hasankeyf at Dusk (Source: Julia Harte, NG Newswatch All Rights Reserved)
A child runs to her father as he returns with flock, near Mosul (Source: Julia Harte, NG Newswatch All Rights Reserved)
Farmland and Pasture near Mosul Dam (Source: Julia Harte, NG Newswatch All Rights Reserved)
A girl in a pink dress moves quickly through village in Southern Iraq (Source: Julia Harte, NG Newswatch All Rights Reserved)
A woman races over the water of Iraq's marshes in motorboat (Source: Julia Harte, NG Newswatch All Rights Reserved)


Evan said…
Brilliant! Thanks. I've posted it on FB; am anticipating loads of reposts.

Ottoman History Podcast is a noncommerical website intended for educational use. Anyone is welcome to use and reproduce our content with proper attribution under the terms of noncommercial fair use within the classroom setting or on other educational websites. All third-party content is used either with express permission or under the terms of fair use. Our page and podcasts contain no advertising and our website receives no revenue. All donations received are used solely for the purposes of covering our expenses. Unauthorized commercial use of our material is strictly prohibited, as it violates not only our noncommercial commitment but also the rights of third-party content owners.

We make efforts to completely cite all secondary sources employed in the making of our episodes and properly attribute third-party content such as images from the web. If you feel that your material has been improperly used or incorrectly attributed on our site, please do not hesitate to contact us.