Iraq water treatment plant re-opens

The Unified Water Treatment Plant in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk has re-opened to provide clean water to over one million residents of the city and its surroundings.

The re-opening follows a US$4.1 million refurbishment by the US Agency for International Development which began in January 2004. Construction of the plant itself began in the early 1980s, but was interrupted by conflicts with Iran and Kuwait. It was completed in 1993, but, after several years of operation, pipe and tank leaks began contributing to foundation and structural problems.

Prior to refurbishment, the plant could only produce 22 million gallons of water a day. However, it is now capable of producing 95 million gallons of drinking water each day and will permanently employ 100 local people.

The Director of the Kirkuk Water Directorate said that, without USAID involvement, the plant would have been out of operation within a short time. “I would like to express my personal gratitude, and on behalf of the entire population of the city of Kirkuk extend our sincere appreciation for the assistance and reconstruction work you have provided.”

Upon completion approximately one million dollars worth of operational spare parts, tools, and safety equipment used in the upgrade were transferred to the Ministry of Water as part of the deal.

The project was a partnership between USAID, Bechtel, and the Iraqi Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works Directorate of Water.

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