Water systems in Iraq
Created by S.M. Enzler MSc
Restoring water systems damaged by war activity
| Water and wastewater systems in Iraq are thoroughly damaged by the First and Second Gulf War. Moreover, the Hussein regime in Iraq left the water system to collapse, and caused it to be in desperate need of modernization, redevelopment and improvement. The major problem is high salinity of canal and river water consequential to drainage flowing into rivers freely after destruction of pumps and dams. |
The US reserved over 770 million dollar in the Iraq Project and Contracting Office (PCO) for restoring the country's water resource inventory. This included rehabilitating the water supply canal in Basra (to decrease overall water salinity), and replacing and repairing existing water works. As the effort started off, the problem areas needed to be identified and prioritized. After the start of the Iraqi occupation, Iraqis had looted and burned ministry buildings, therefore the required list of water resource facilities was unavailable.
Making plans became increasingly more difficult, as the phone system was down in most of the country, and mail delivery services were unreliable. Additionally, not all of the country is secured as if yet. Another difficulties arose as many water works had multiple names, being renamed after Saddam Hussein under the dictator's regime.
Eventually, over 500 distinct projects were identified across Iraq, these included:
Finding a logical order of development proved difficult, but the team eventually succeeded. The next step was writing proposals for design and development, and making estimated for construction costs (quotes). The latter proved difficult because of an inconsistency in currency, and unavailability of cost data for construction in the aftermath of the Saddam Hussein regime. Eventually regional cost factors based on prior expertise in the Middle East were applied. Adequate security and housing for workers needed to be supplied and included in the cost. Finally, Iraqis required education to properly work the country's water system once it is renewed.
Source: Palmer A., 2003, Restoring water & wastewater systems in Iraq, Programme Management