Mosul dam generates 1,000 megawatts of electricity and holds back an estimated 11 billion cubic tons of water. If such an important dam seizes working, then the impact of citizen’s of Iraq will be immense.
Mosul is Iraq’s second largest urban hub. In recent past, it has a history of a lot of struggles. It went under control of ISIS during summer 2014. As militants took control over the city, infrastructure was completely disrupted as well as destroyed. Mosul dam is deteriorating quite rapidly.
Nadhir Al-Ansari, a professor of civil engineering at Sweden’s Lulea Institute of Technology, says, “The designers underestimated the geological problems.”
The dam is built upon anhydrite and gypsum stones. Both of them are soluble in water. So, the dam is actually dissolving quite fast. With expected flooding during April and May, it is quite expected that the dam would finally reach to the breaking point. It may put more than 30 cities and numerous villages of Iraq in severe risk of electric shortage.
“If the dam is not repaired then it will collapse,” warns Al-Ansari. “If the water level is up to the normal operation level, then the flood wave will reach the first major city within four hours and the height of the wave will be 24 meters. After 38 hours, it will reach Baghdad and the wave height will be four meters.”
“Flooding south of Samarra would resemble that of Hurricane Katrina, with standing water that pervades much of Baghdad for weeks to months. As floodwaters recede, mud and waste-covered remnants of previous infrastructure will be left behind.”
Mr. Al-Ansari suggested immediate repair for the dam to save it from failure. He also slammed Iraqi government for inaction.
“When you listen to what they say in the media, it is all misleading and contradictory information,” Al-Ansari says of the government response. “I have seen who was talking about the problem and I can assure you that more than 95 percent of the people appeared have no engineering information or idea about dams. They have not seen a real dam in their life — maybe in photos.”
To secure the dam, Iraqi government has made a deal with an Italian company. But, it is difficult predict right now that when the repair will start off. Along with the Iraqi Foundation for Intellectuals and Academics, American Peace Ambassadors for Iraq and Lulea University of Technology, Al-Ansari will be taking part in an international workshop in Rome next month. This group will give a plan of action to Iraqi government.
Al-Ansari said that he is hoping that Iraqi government will take this warning seriously and would take the appropriate measures to resolve the issue.