Critically low water levels at Mosul Dam: Minister

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Iraqi Minister of Water Resources Hassan al-Janabi has announced a critical decline in water levels at the Mosul Dam.

Aside from the obvious harm caused by low river levels in cities and towns that depend on them for their water supply, low water levels are a serious problem for dams.

They lead to a rise in temperature and salinity content of the water in the massive structures, detrimental to the mechanisms that run them. In past years, this has caused Mosul Dam to be shut down for weeks in the summer, decreasing electricity to Iraq’s already overstressed power grid, just as increased use of air conditioning spikes demand all over Iraq.

Janabi published images on his Facebook account to demonstrate the crisis, the first of which shows the reservoir above Mosul Dam on that day in 2017 and the second showing this year’s decreased levels for comparison.

 

The two images show a clear difference between the two reservoirs, totaling about 3 billion cubic meters of water.

The graph below shows water levels at the Mosul Dam over the past decade. Multi-colored lines represent previous years; the thick, black one, 2018.

Janabi called on Iraqi citizens to “preserve the available water and reduce consumption as much as possible.”

In 2016, the Ministry of Water Resources signed an agreement with the Italian Trevi Company to carry out a project of rehabilitating and maintaining Mosul Dam.

International engineers have long warned of the possibility of its collapse, due to engineering problems and decades of chronicly poor maintenence.

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