Rehabilitation of the water supply in Tal Afar in northern Iraq

In October 2021, GAUFF Engineering was commissioned by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide "Detailed diagnosis and design for equitable and sustainable access to clean water" in the city of Tal Afar in north-western Iraq. The public water supply of the city of Tal Afar has deteriorated severely as a result of the four decades of continuous military conflicts.

The water for Tal Afar is taken from two extraction points of the Tigris River, treated, and distributed to the individual households via a water supply system with a total length of about 263 km. Due to many leaks, however, considerable water losses of up to 50%, measured at the Abo Maria – Tal Afar Pumping Station, and an estimated 75% water losses in the primary system and secondary distribution network occur already during the transfer to the urban distribution network. In addition, as a result of the damaged water pipes in the urban area, there is a risk of cross-contamination by the open flow off of wastewater from households. The regular power outages and limited maintenance capabilities make it difficult to secure the drinking water supply, as the necessary water treatment plants and pumping stations cannot be operated permanently. The distribution is therefore intermittent and follows a rotating system, in which most districts receive water once a week.

As part of the project, GAUFF Engineering will prepare a cadastre and develop a detailed diagnosis of the water supply systems of the city of Tal Afar in order to identify the main vulnerabilities and risks to the restoration and continuity of the operation of the systems. In addition, a strategic plan and a comprehensive work program will be developed to identify and align short-, medium- and long-term options to improve reliability, sustainability, and equality of the access to clean water. This project, which is very important for Tal Afar, is to be completed within 9 Months.

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