The Euphrates River and the Southeast Anatolia Development Project
John F. Kolars
William A. Mitchell
Southern Illinois University
Concerning conditions in the Middle East…
"Populations are growing fast, and cities swell with thirsty people. From North Africa to the Persian Gulf, farms demand water from lands known more for pale deserts and skies that begrudge all but meager rains.
"The reasons for the coming crisis are complex but one factor is common. From the Nile to the Euphrates, rivers slice through already charged frontiers, and governments of conflicting visions seek to mold events in their neighbors' lands and to grasp for whatever water they can control. Many of the nations concerned about their water lie downstream from a hostile or unsettled neighbor."
Alan Cowell, The New York Times
"Water is a resouce vital to life. As any archaeologist looking for prehistoric habitation can testify, a reliable water source is the one absolute prerequisite for human settlement. It is the ultimate survival issue, a 'superordinate goal' that overrides all other concerns. With populations expanding and aspirations for economic development increasing, the demand of Middle Eastern peoples on their limited water resouces is already approaching the 'water barrier' beyond which the need for water becomes a dominant concern."
Thomas Naff, from the Preface
John F. Kolars, professor of geography and Near Eastern studies at the University of Michigan, received a B.Sc. in geology from the University of Washington. After working for the United States Geological Survey he later earned a Ph.D. in geography (with special work in anthropology and Near Eastern studies) from the University of Chicago. His initial research focused upon village development and agricultural change in Turkey. For the last decade he has specialized in the natural characteristics and human use of international rivers in the Middle East. He is a regular lecturer at the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of State, as well as a consultant for USAID and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
William A. Mitchell, Colonel, United States Army Air Force, has served as professor and Chair of the Department of Geography at the United States Air Force Academy. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois for his research "Post Earthquake Turkish Villages: An Analysis of Disaster Related Modernization." In addition to his military duties at the Air War College and in the Middle East, he has been a member of the Disaster Response Center at Boulder, Colorado, and the Associates for Middle Eastern Research (AMER). His continuing research and field work has focused upon human response to earthquakes in Turkey and Iran as well as investigations of agricultural land use patterns in the Middle East and the regional geography of the Euphrates and Tigris river basin.