AANES to Draw Water from Euphrates Amid Water Crisis

This report by Bassem Shouayikh was published by North Press Agency on 16 December, 2020

Alaa al-Omar, Co-chair of the Shaddadi Council, said, on Wednesday that the Water Directorate in Hasakah has begun a project to secure the water needs of the entire city and a large portion of the countryside.

Al-Omar added in a special statement to North Press that the Water Directorate, under the direction of the Executive Council in the Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria (AANES), began to restore Suwar station in the northern countryside of Deir ez-Zor to draw water from the Euphrates River to Hasakah.

The project will draw the Euphrates water from the Suwar station to al-Alwa Station, and then to Shaddadi water station, then on to Hama water station in the city of Hasakah, according to al-Omar.

Since November 22, Turkish forces and its affiliated armed opposition groups stopped Alouk water station in the city of Serekaniye (Ras al-Ain), claiming that the electricity cut off was the reason, and water has been cut off to more than a million people in Hasakah and its countryside.

Alouk water station has been subjected to looting and vandalism since Turkish forces and their affiliated armed opposition groups took control of the city of Serekaniye in October 2019, and the water was cut off more than once, amid international warnings of a humanitarian disaster in light of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Syrian government had brought the project into service before the crisis, but it was subjected to looting and destruction by al-Nusra Front and then the Islamic State (ISIS), and it was also subjected to several air strikes by the US-led Global Coalition, according to al-Omar.

He said that the completion period of the project is approximately three months, and that the council secured 125 workers to work on it as fast as possible to repair the lines and rehabilitate the stations located in the countryside of Hasakah.

Al-Omar did not specify the material cost or budget to complete this work.

He added that the project will fully secure the water needs of the city of Hasakah, as well as a large area of ​​its countryside. “The project to draw water from the Euphrates is one of the best solutions that we will work on,” he explained.

AANES announced on Wednesday the start of another project, at a cost of $5,000,000 USD, to draw water from the Khabur River, a tributary of the Euphrates, to the city of Hasakah.