DAM OF THE REVOLUTION : SYRIA

Dam of the Revolution : Syria

The Tabqa Dam, or al-Thawra (Dam of the Revolution), is an earth-fill dam on the Euphrates, located 40 kilometers upstream from the city of Ar-Raqqah, Syria.

Its construction, from 1968 to 1973 led to the creation of Lake Assad, Syria's largest water reservoir. A vast network of canals uses water from Lake Assad to irrigate lands on both sides of the Euphrates. In addition, the lake provides drinking water for the city of Aleppo and supports a fishing industry.

In 1974, Syria started to fill the lake behind the dam by reducing the flow of the Euphrates. Slightly earlier, Turkey had started filling the reservoir of the newly constructed Keban Dam, and at the same time the area was also hit by significant drought. As a result, Iraq received significantly less water from the Euphrates than normal (39% flow rate decrease at its border). An agreement was reached in 1975 by mediation of Saudi Arabia and the Soviet Union whereby Syria immediately increased the flow from the dam and agreed to let 60% of the Euphrates water flow into Iraq.

The salinity of the Euphrates water in Iraq has increased considerably since the nearly simultaneous construction of the Keban Dam in Turkey and the Tabqa Dam in Syria. This increase can, among other things, be related to the lower discharge of the Euphrates as a result of the construction of the Keban Dam and the dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) in Turkey, and to a lesser degree of the Tabqa Dam in Syria. High-salinity water is less useful for domestic and irrigation purposes.


The inset photograph was taken using an 1150mm lens from the Cupola of International Space Station.

This is the 3rd post in a series featuring photographs taken on a single pass over the Middle East one year ago this week* from the ISS (August 6th, 2015 *Date of original post).

Image Timestamp: 2015-08-06 15:39:48 UTC ISS Nadir position: 35.46°N, 38.18°E (Syria) Image Geolocation: 35.879°N, 38.760°E (Syria)

Image Timestamp: 2015-08-06 15:39:48 UTC
ISS Nadir position: 35.46°N, 38.18°E (Syria)
Image Geolocation: 35.879°N, 38.760°E (Syria)

Source Image : ISS044-E-36656 Focal Length: 1150mm

Source Image : ISS044-E-36656
Focal Length: 1150mm

SOURCE DATA

  • Geo-Historical Text : Wikipedia
  • Calculations : WolframAlpha Pro
  • Satellite Imagery: ESRI ArcGIS
  • Overlay Source Image: NASA Johnson