Kurdistan to own 65 water dams
According to the most recent statistics of the Ministry of Planning of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the region will have 65 different-sized water dams in the coming few years. Some of these dams have already been constructed, and the rest are either under construction or planned to be constructed.
Dr. Ali Sindi, KRG’s Planning Minister, explained inside the parliament hall during a session about the region’s 2013 budget draft, that his government has given a special consideration to the agriculture sector in the budget.
Answering the questions of some MPs about the projects, Minister Sindi said they are busy with constructing a large number of dams all over the region.
In addition to the River Tigris, there are 5 other rivers inside Kurdistan Region including Greater Zab, Smaller Zab, Fishkhabor, Sirwan and Awaspi River, which have a collective length of 1,800 kilometers.
Roughly 45% of the sources of the rivers are inside the region.
Using the rivers for agricultural development
Planning Minister stated that in the past the river water has mainly been used for drinking in addition to limited agricultural use in lands located near the rivers, “but we will try to use the rivers for developing the agriculture sector.”
There are currently 8 operating dams with a total capacity of about 11 billion cubic meter.
“The dams currently under construction are low in capacity,” said Minister Sindi. “The total capacity of all the dams is 90 billion cubic meter.”
There are a number of old dams in the region with large capacity such as the Dokan and Darbandikhan dams, with a capacity of 6.8 billion cubic meter and 3 billion cubic meter respectively.
The new dams, however, have a much lower capacity due to budget limitations, and can only be used for agricultural and irrigation use unlike the old dams that are used to power generation as well.
A view of the Darbandikhan Dam, south of Suleimaniya. PRESS PHOTO