Water Directorate of Hasakah Province in North and East Syria explains water shortage and steps to alleviate it

HASAKAH, Syria – In an interview with SuroyoTV, Co-Chair of the Water Directorate for Hasakah Province Sozdar Ahmed discussed the reason behind the frequent water cuts in Hasakah and the lack of water pumping. She also confirmed that work is underway to find alternative solutions in the coming period.

Alouk water station, located in the Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn) countryside, has been purposefully deactivated multiple times by the occupying Turkish military and Syrian National Army (SNA), a collection of militias, including several espousing Islamist ideologies, formed and funded by Turkey, who invaded the region in October 2019.

Alouk provides drinking water for at least half-a-million civilians and is routinely deactivated by the Turkish military and SNA in an attempt to put pressure on the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and force the allocation of electricity to occupied Rish Ayno as well as to stretch the limited resources of the DAA.

“The main water station is the Alouk station which belongs to Ras al-Ayn [Rish Ayno] and has been under the control of the Turkish factions since October 2019. This greatly affected the water situation, as water was cut off several times in the city of Hasakah due to targeting the station,” said Ahmed.

Regarding the water distribution mechanism, Ahmed stated, “We have a main reservoir in the Al-Hamma region with a capacity of 30,000 cubic meters. When the tank is full, we pump water to the city. We divided the neighborhoods in Hasakah into two parts and five sectors, every four days pumped water is sent into one sector.”

A concern of residents of the region has been the presence of pollution in the water system. A recent mixing of wastewater with potable water was specific concern. “This is classified as a special problem in which sewage water mixed with drinking water as a result of breaking one of the lines within a neighborhood or residential building. There is no water pollution for the whole city. We first test water to make sure that it is valid for drinking before pumping it.”

“Hasakah city needs 80,000 cubic meters for each sector. However, the water quantity available is only 24,000 cubic meters from the occupied Alouk station. Therefore, not enough water has been provided for the residents of Hasakah,” Ahmed continued.

To help alleviate the water shortage, the municipality planned to dig a series of wells. However, the project had to be put on hold due to the coronavirus. “In April, we dug many shallow wells, but the work was halted due to the spread of coronavirus pandemic and the closure of the border crossings, said Ahmed. “Recently, we have requested a set of electrical parts for these wells and as soon as they arrive these wells will solve part of the water problem in Hasakah city.”