Iraq finalizes contracts to repair Mosul Dam

More than 50 thousand tons of cement have been pumped into the soil around the dam during the past five years. [STRINGER Iraq / Reuters]

More than 50 thousand tons of cement have been pumped into the soil around the dam during the past five years. [STRINGER Iraq / Reuters]

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Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources officials are currently holding negotiations with German company Bauer and Italian company Trevi to carry out a project to support the concrete trusses of Mosul Dam.

The project includes building a concrete wall to support the dam's trusses at a depth of more than 200 meters to prevent water from seeping in from the lake.

Ministry of Water Resources spokesperson Hamed Hussain told Mawtani on Monday (April 4th) that the ministry is about to complete the technical, legal and financial aspects of its negotiations with the two companies.

"The project comes in the framework of the ministry's desire to find final solutions for the problems due to the weak soil foundation of the dam's cement trusses," Hussain said.

Last February, the ministry invited about 60 international companies specialized in dam safety to bid on the project. Bauer and Trevi were chosen last week.

Amer al-Jubouri, an engineer specialized in dams, said building a concrete wall would be "the ideal solution for the problems of the dam".

According to Ali Hashem, director of the Ministry of Water Resources' projects department, when Mosul Dam was built in the early 1980s, there was a technical defect in its foundation because it was built on calcareous soil, which over time erodes from contact with water.

Since the construction of the dam, ministry workers have dealt with the soil erosion by injecting concrete into the soil to protect the dam from cracks and fractures.

"Although this process is effective in treating the defect, it is still not practical enough and is not cost-effective," Hashem said. "It may also be subject to neglect, like what we saw in the 1990s."

Hashem noted that the ministry's workers would continue to treat the defect by injecting concrete until the project is completed. Officials estimate the project may take between four and five years, and cost about $4 billion.

Thirty-six specialized machines are now working around the clock to pump cement into the foundation of the dam trusses. More than 50 thousand tons of cement have been pumped into the soil during the past five years.

Hashem dismissed concerns about the collapse of the dam, which have recently circulated in the Iraqi street.

"There is nothing to justify these fears," he said. "The collapse of the dam is not likely and is completely ruled out in view of the regular maintenance measures that are implemented by our ministry's engineering cadres."

Media reports previously raised speculation about the possibility of a partial or total collapse of the dam; a catastrophe that would destroy thousands of hectares of agricultural land.

Mosul Dam is located 30 kilometers northwest of Mosul. It was built by a joint German-Italian company in 1984, and was estimated to stand for 80 years. It is considered the fourth largest dam in the Middle East, with a length of about 3,650 meters and height of 113 meters.

The storage capacity of the dam ranges from eight- to 11 billion cubic meters of water, which is used in agriculture and fish farming. The dam's water is also used to generate electric power through a hydroelectric station located nearby that produces about 750 megawatts of electricity.

In addition to Mosul Dam, Iraq has five other large dams including Haditha Dam in Anbar and Samarra Dam in Salah al-Din, as well as 25 other small dams and reservoirs.

Shaalan Kareem, a member of the Agriculture and Water Committee in the Iraqi parliament, said that experts and consultants in his committee recently discussed with executive officials in the Ministry of Water Resources the proposals submitted by leading world companies in dam construction.

"The committee experts will finish a report within the next two months and will submit it to the members of parliament," Kareem said. "In that report, they will explain the details of the work plan of the project and the radical solutions that will be adopted to support the dam."

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  • READER COMMENTS

    خليل يحيى

    2011-5-26

    The dam of Mosul is very important for the generation of electrical power. This will support the provision of electricity in Iraq as a whole. That’s why it is among the most important dams, especially since it can stave off the dangers of flooding. It can also protect many provinces from this serious danger, and particularly in Mosul, which is not too far from this dam. In fact, it is one of the four biggest dams in the Middle East. In addition, it has great importance in various fields, especially in protecting our cities from the danger of floods. Thus, I think that it is important to care for this dam and to protect it from collapse, especially since we have heard about the threat of this dam collapsing, God forbid. Thus, the process of repairing this dam has become one of the most urgent necessities, especially after some cracks have emerged in its foundations in recent years. In fact, the collapse of this dam would cause serious dangers which would lead to a humanitarian disaster. This will not only affect Mosul, but it will also harm other provinces, such as Salah al-Din and Baghdad. That’s why it is important to begin continuous and accurate work, in order to come up with appropriate plans for the sake of strengthening the dam of Mosul, with a view to avoiding this disaster. In fact, this dam has a great importance; that’s why we must protect it through the process of repairing it.

  • عبدالفتاح علي مهدي

    2011-5-15

    Mosul Dam is one of the most important dams in Iraq. Repairing and taking care of it is one of the most important operational projects in Iraq, because Mosul Dam is threatened by the danger of collapse, and the two foreign companies will undertake the implementation of the project accurately. It is true that it will take a long time, but the work is serious and guaranteed for longer years, and this is what we hope for. I pray to God Almighty to grant success and good work to Iraq and Iraqis. The people of Mosul do not want more suffering because they are already suffering. Starting the implementation of this project is a sign of the development in Iraq and more confidence in all aspects. God is the source of strength. The collapse of the dam is a big problem, but studies conducted by the researchers and engineers have proved that there is no such thing as the collapse of the dam.

  • وديع حيدر

    2011-5-14

    Mosul Dam is one of the most important service projects in Iraq, and there have been negotiations with the German Bauer and the Italian Trevi companies to strengthen the concrete supports of Mosul Dam. The project includes creating concrete walls to support the foundations of the dam and to prevent the leakage of water from the lake dam. Some officials confirmed that the ministry staff will continue in the process of treatment by injection until the project is completed, which will take four to five years. Many people in the Iraqi street circulate fears of the collapse of the dam, but officials confirm that there is no justification for concerns, because the collapse of the dam is excluded entirely, as there are procedures and deliberate plans in place for this issue. Mosul Dam is very important, and if something bad happens, God forbid, Iraq as a whole will collapse. The efforts of the Iraqi engineers and architects have shown their fortitude and keenness to save the dam. I believe that maintaining the dam is the most important event in Iraq, particularly for the people of Mosul.

  • ولاء مرشد

    2011-5-5

    Mosul Dam is one of the largest dams in Iraq, since it plays an important role in storing a huge quantity of water and preserving it for difficult times, especially since Iraq is going through a problem of water scarcity because of the large dams built by neighboring countries Turkey and Syria on the Tigris and Euphrates. Everybody knows that those two rivers are the source of water for Iraq. As a matter of fact, because of these dams, the Iraqi share of water has decreased, hence leading to a considerable decrease in the water level of these rivers. Generally, this has affected the country’s economy and agriculture a great deal. In fact, if Mosul Dam had been rehabilitated and repaired, it would have been possible to preserve the coming water, store it in this dam and establish other dams, so that Iraq could ensure water supplies for the future. In addition, this dam will help generate electrical power by taking advantage of the stored water in it. Thus, we must repair it as soon as possible, and fill it with water, either from the rivers or from the waters of snow which melts in northern Iraq.

  • جعفر سعيد

    2011-5-3

    God bless you for thinking about the dams. The Ministry of Water Resources in Iraq has announced that it is taking the necessary measures for the maintenance of the dams, in order to prevent a real disaster that may be caused by the potential collapse of the dam in Mosul. It has worked on building a concrete wall in the bottom of the foundations of the Mosul Dam to prevent further erosion, and the work on grouting also continues, to stop corrosion and water leakage.

  • محمود شامل

    2011-4-29

    Water experts have confirmed that the Mosul Dam will be subject to collapse if it is left as it is. In fact, if this dam collapses, it will claim the lives of more than half a million Iraqis in Mosul, and it will destroy the city as a whole. This will also lead to the destruction of other parts of the cities, extending from the beginning of the dam to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, whose districts will be swamped with water.

  • نافع سليم

    2011-4-28

    Whatever we say, we will not evaluate the strategic importance of Mosul Dam in northern Iraq. In fact, Mosul Dam is one of the most strategic projects which are used for different purposes, the most important of which are water storage, electricity generation and development of fisheries wealth, in addition to energizing the tourist movement in the province. Besides, this huge water reservoir will increase the rate of the amount of water in the Tigris and Euphrates, which is significantly decreasing due to the unfair distribution of water resources with the riparian states neighboring Iraq, namely Turkey and Syria. Indeed, the latter have built large, giant dams on the Tigris and Euphrates riverbeds passing through their lands. This has led to a decline in the rate of water reaching Iraq. Indeed, the water has become insufficient for drinking and watering crops, especially in the Euphrates River in the areas of the Middle Euphrates and in the southern region of Iraq, where the reservoir of Mosul Dam provides the Euphrates River with additional quantities of water, in order to raise the water level in the river, in order to irrigate agricultural lands and orchards and provide water to the livestock in these areas. Moreover, it provides water intended for human consumption for the population of the region. However, concerns started to arise many years ago, fearing that the Mosul Dam may collapse. Indeed, officials responsible for the dam have discovered that the walls of many Iraqi dams have been subjected to erosion, mainly the Mosul Dam and Haditha Dam situated on the Euphrates River, in addition to the Samarra Dam, which is located on the Tigris River.

  • طالب حسين

    2011-4-28

    The Mosul Dam, which was completed in 1986 and which is located in northern Mosul City, is considered one of the most important and greatest dams in Iraq, because it has great benefits in storing water and expanding the agricultural land along the Tigris River, as it provides a sufficient amount of the water that is used in irrigation processes for these agricultural lands. The Mosul Dam contributes greatly to the agricultural reality in Iraq, and also increases the rates of production. In addition to this, there is the great importance of the dam in the livestock sector by providing the great breeding of fisheries.

  • خلف العاني

    2011-4-26

    It is unacceptable to have a dam such as Mosul Dam without benefiting from it in the generation of electrical power. In fact, Iraq has two rivers. Thus, they must build dams in order to generate electrical power.

  • صباح فهد

    2011-4-12

    This project represents a major shift in the development of Iraq. We hope that this project continues and does not become a mere resource fore publicity.