07. May 2020

IBER LEPENC, "IBER Canal", Kosovo - Planning and implementation of water supply security and canal protection

Plan of the newly built Mihaliq dam with the connection to the IBER Canal

Gazivoda rock-filled embankment dam with emergency overflow

Emergency overflow of the Gazivoda rock-filled embankment dam, the so-called "ski jump"

Characteristic section of the IBER Canal

Access road on the top of the Gazivoda Dam

The Iber Canal runs approximately 49 km south from the northern border of Kosovo. It consists of a series of trapezoidal and closed canals, tunnels, aqueducts and free-level culverts. Only about half the length of the canal runs above ground. The rest of the canal was laid underground. The water of the Iber Canal comes from the Gazivoda reservoir, which ends with a 101 m high rock-filled embankment dam. The Iber Canal itself has various damage potentials. Despite repairs of large leaks, it is susceptible to damage from landslides, leaks and pollution.

For this reason, the working group GAUFF GmbH & Co. Engineering KG, lncoWest Ingenieure + Architekten GmbH & Co.KG, SWECO GmbH and SWECO Hydroprojekt were commissioned in December 2018 by the Kosovar Iber Lepenc J.S.C. with the planning and execution services for water safety and canal protection. The aim of this water supply project is to help the Iber Canal to regain its original capacity, thereby improving the drinking water supply for the population in central Kosovo, the cooling water supply for the power plants and agricultural irrigation.

As part of this, the Iber Canal with the associated structures such as roads, bridges and compensation reservoirs will be renovated and modernised and a safety analysis of the Gazivoda and Pridvorica dams will be carried out. As part of the expansion of water resources, the working group around GAUFF Engineering is responsible for the planning and construction supervision of the new Mihaliq earth dam, including environmental impact assessment and resettlement plan. In the event of water shortages, the Mihaliq Reservoir, with a total height of around 35 m and its total storage capacity of 3.7 million cubic metres, is to guarantee the water supply for up to one month. The remote-controlled monitoring of hydraulic devices along the Iber Canal via SCADA software as well as the dams and reservoirs is another subject of the contract. The project is financed through a World Bank loan as part of the "Kosovo - Water Security and Canal Protection Project".

The execution plans for the construction of the Mihaliq dam and the renovation of the IBER Canal have been completed. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by mid-2023.