Project to Draw Water from Syria’s Deir ez-Zor to Hasakah Begins

This report by Basem Shuweikh was published on North Press Agency on 4 January, 2021

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria began work on a project to draw water from the Euphrates River in Deir ez-Zor to the city of Hasakah and its surroundings on Monday.

Turkish troops and their affiliated armed opposition groups cut off water flow from Alouk station in Sere Kaniye (Ras Al-Ain) on November 22, holding the water hostage and demanding greater amounts of electricity as over a million people in Hasakah and its countryside went without water.  

The project’s chief engineer Luqman Musa said that they started the project by rehabilitating the lines and pumping stations located on the line.

After Turkish troops and armed opposition groups seized Alouk water station following a military operation in 2019, the station has been subjected to looting and destruction in addition to repeated water cutoffs, amid international warnings of an impending humanitarian disaster in light of the outbreak of coronavirus.

The project will draw water from Sawar station to Shaddadi water station, and then on to station 47 in Hasakah countryside to Hamah water station in the city.

All lines and stations connecting Sawar station east of Deir ez-Zor to stations in the Hasakah countryside require rehabilitation and maintenance, Musa added in a special statement to North Press.

About 150 workers are participating in the project; some of them travelled from the city of Shaddadi to Sawar district to begin the work on Monday.

Musa did not specify the costs for the project. He described the project as “vital” for the city of Hasakah and its surroundings.

The project will be finished in three months, according to Shaddadi council co-chair Ala’ Omar’s previous statement to North Press.

The Syrian government had brought the project of drawing the Euphrates’ water into service before the crisis; however, it was subjected to looting and destruction by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Islamic Sate (ISIS) in addition to being exposed to several airstrikes by the Global Coalition, according to Omar.