Syria’s AANES to build new water pipeline to Hasakah

This report by Eva Amin was published by North Press Agency on 14 January, 2023

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) plans to build a new pipeline to deliver drinking water to the city of Hasakah in northeastern Syria, Issa Younes, co-chair of Hasakah AANES Water Resources Directorate, revealed on Saturday.

Younes told North Press that drinking water will be drawn from the countryside of Amuda, northeast Syria, 62 km south to Hasakah city. The project has a price tag of $40 million.

The exact cost has yet to be determined, as “we do not know the type of water pipes that we will receive,” the official added.

Since 2019, Turkey has cut off water delivered from Alouk water station in Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) to Hasakah and its countryside 27 times.

Alouk station is the only water resource feeding Hasakah and its countryside.

In 2019, Turkish forces and Turkish-backed opposition factions, also known as Syrian National Army (SNA), launched Operation ‘Peace Spring’, occupying Sere Kaniye and its countryside.

Turkey’s cutoffs threatens about a million and a half people; cholera infections, too, have spiked in the region.

The project will provide each neighborhood with water once every week, according to Younes.

“Eighty percent of the project has been studied and it is awaiting the acquisition of the water pipes; 20 wells will be dug in the village of Sanjak Sadoun, south of Amuda,” the official said.

The AANES Executive Council of Jazira region put the project on its agenda for 2023 at a meeting held on January 8.

Previous failures

The AANES implemented two previous projects to solve the water scarcity problem caused by Turkey’s closure of Alouk.

One such project was that of Hemma wells, located northwest of Hasakah, which was meant to secure 50 percent of the needed water for the area.

The AANES launched the project in March 2022. At the time, it declared its intention to dig 50 wells at Hemma within 29 days, but the project was delayed to August. Once water began flowing from Hemma, it quickly ran out.

Back then, the AANES did not comment on the matter or release any statements concerning the reasons behind the project’s failure.

A second project involved pumping up water from the Euphrates River in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate, south of Hasakah.

The AANES began construction in early 2022, and it was scheduled for completion within three months at an estimated cost of $1.5 million, according to an AANES statement at the time.

However, after 20 months on the project, water finally reached the Hasakah neighborhoods of al-Mufty and Salihiyah in July 2022 – but only for two hours – then water was cut off once more.

The Euphrates River project today covers only 15-20 percent of Hasakah’s water needs. In addition, its tanks need to be maintained, according to Younes.

There is as yet no date set for the completion of the new pipeline.