Water and energy are intricately connected. Water is considered as the most important source in the production processes of all sources of energy, including electricity, extraction of raw materials, cooling in thermal processes, cultivation of crops, and powering turbines. Meanwhile, energy nowadays has an essential role making water resources available for human use and consumption, for instant irrigation through pumping, transportation, collection, distribution, treatment and desalination. The relationship between water and energy turns around various elemental issues ranging from water resources systems management to sustainable and environmentally friendly energy. Hence, establishment of new strategic plans for integrating water and energy policies is the foremost concern.
Kurdistan region is well-endowed in natural resources, particularly water. The abundant rainfall, which is common over Zagors and Taurus mountains, has made Kurdistan one of the few watersheds of the Middle East and home of two of the world’s major river systems, the Tigris and Euphrates. 60% of the rivers in Kurdistan originate within the region, while 40% originate in foreign countries, mainly Turkey and Iran. At present, the Kurdistan region depends primarily on its groundwater resources. In addition, a significant number of small- scale ponds have been constructed over the past few years to serve as retention basin and recharger of ground water. However, there have been only limited hydrological studies for the region, so reliable estimates regarding remaining supplies are particularly narrow. The lack of significant infrastructure further compounds the situation. All these designates that the Kurdistan region faces strong challenges regarding the future of its water resources.
Hydropower is the oldest and most widely used form of renewable energy technologies in the world. Hydropower plants of Dokan and Darbadikhan dams have been used over the past few years to generate energy in Kurdistan, especially after 1991. Kurdistan region’s location restricts the types of renewable energy in Kurdistan to include only hydropower, wind power, solar power and geothermal. Renewable energy in Kurdistan is relatively unexplored and needs to be further investigated.
This conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners to enrich the discussion on the broad topics of water and the energy produced from water resources in Kurdistan region. It also seeks to present the most important challenges facing water resources in this region and shed light on various possible solutions and alternatives.