Al-Raqqah | As Turkey continues seizing Euphrates river water, farmers turn to solar panels to get electricity
SOHR activists in areas under the control of Syria Democratic Forces in al-Raqqah province have reported that the farmers have turned to alternative solution to the issue of the low Euphrates water level, as Turkey continues seizing Syria’s share of water. Many farmers have turned to solar power, as they connected solar panels to the power generators used for drawing water out of wells, canals and rivulets in order to irrigate their farms. Accordingly, the markets in al-Raqqah city became full of solar panels with the great demand by the city’s residents, especially since the cost of power produced by solar panels is less than of electrically-generated amperes as well as the pact that there are many residential neighbourhoods are not provided with power supplies. However, the price of these solar panels are unaffordable for many.
A few hours ago, Syrian Observatory activists monitored new low level of Euphrates river water, despite the statements by Turkish government regarding the start of opening dams and releasing Syria’s share of water. However, Turkey returned to close the dams, which resulted in alarming decrease of water lever in the river. Meanwhile, power generation turbines stopped functioning, amid growing popular anger in the Syrian Jazeera region over Turkish seizure of Euphrates river water.
On May 15, Turkish government continued to close its dams, retaining the water of Euphrates river, despite the repeated calls for the release of Syria’s share of the water in the river. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activists reported continuous decline in the level of the Euphrates river’s water, along with the stopping of the irrigation and power generation turbines, as the continuous decrease in the water level at the Euphrates Dam led to the receding of water in the governorates of al-Raqqah and Deir Ezzor, in addition to the patrs that flow through the Iraqi territory. We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, warn against a looming disaster threatening lives and livelihood of more than three million Syrians, who depend on the river for drinking, electricity and irrigation.