The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the Federal Government of Iraq, and Turkey have agreed to build three medium and large-sized water dams in the Kurdistan Region near the Turkish border, a Kurdish lawmaker said on Saturday.
Mohammed Amin, a Kurdish member of the Iraqi Parliamentary Agriculture Committee, told Kurdistan 24 that he recently met with Iraqi Minister of Water Resources Jamal al-Adili to discuss the construction of the three dams which the three governments mentioned above had agreed on last year.
“The three water dams will be constructed in [the Kurdistan Region’s] Mergasor town,” Amin said.
The idea was based on Turkey’s request in 2015 to jointly construct the dams with the KRG and Baghdad since it is located on the two countries’ borders, he added.
In December 2018, Amin headed an Iraqi delegation to Turkey to discuss the subject with Ankara, and later a joint team visited Mergasor and chose the locations of the dams and their designs.
The Kurdish lawmaker noted that the project was delayed over the past few years due to “security reasons on the border near Mergasor,” referring to the Turkish military operation against fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey, the European Union, and the United States consider a “terrorist organization.”
According to Amin, the designs for the dams are ready and will be finalized soon before the project enters its implementation stage.
“These dams will benefit the Kurdistan Region and other parts of Iraq as it can save a huge amount of water,” he continued.
“The dams will also address the lack of power in the surrounding areas as each can produce 40-60 megawatts of electricity. The height of one of the dams reaches 180 meters.”
The Kurdistan Region currently has 17 water dams located in the four provinces of Erbil, Sulaimani, Duhok, and Halabja.
Last year, Iraq suffered a critical drought, due to a lack of rain and construction of the giant Turkish water dam of Ilisu on the border, which considerably reduced water flow to the Tigris River that flows into Iraq. The dam can store an estimated 11.4 billion cubic meters of water.
The construction of the upcoming three joint dams comes as both the KRG and the Turkish government have begun preparations to open a third border crossing between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region near the same area.