After six-months of interruption marked by malfunctions and violations, water from Alouk pumping station returns to Hasakah, North and East Syria

HASAKAH, Syria — The Alouk Pumping Station has restarted pumping water to Hasakah after an interruption of nearly six months.

Since taking over the station in mid-October 2019 following its invasion of the region, Turkey and its Syrian National Army (SNA) proxies have suspended operations at Alouk dozens of times.

A source in Hasakah’s Water Authority told Suroyo TV that Alouk had again begun pumping water towards the Hamma Pumping Station on Tuesday. After 24 hours, the water was re-pumped for people to use on an emergency basis, due to the poor water supply from the Alouk station. Only 19 out of 30 wells are back in service, after replacement parts and maintenance were secured through UNICEF.

Interior of Alouk water station in the Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn) countryside.

The water was pumped to the western Nashwa neighborhood for only three hours, at a weak pressure level due to the presence of fractures in the water lines and the insufficiency of the water supply, reaching only 200 cubic liters of water per hour.

An agreement was reached with the Turkish side for the arrival of 2,500 cubic meters per hour in exchange for the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) delivering 8 megawatts of electricity to Syrian areas under the control of the Turkish occupation.

The population suffers greatly from the challenge of securing safe drinking water, especially since the groundwater in Hasakah is not drinkable due to salinity and pollution. The people there depend on water tanks that transport water from the countryside to the city at high prices. Even then, that water may still be polluted and unfit for drinking and is not always safe to drink.

Prior to the Turkish invasion and occupation in 2019, Alouk served the city of Hasakah and the surrounding area, which is home to more than a million people.

The situation has become so dire that the United Nations has issued warnings of a humanitarian crisis, as the lack of clean water puts the population at risk of disease and malnutrition. The Alouk water station is one of the main sources of water for the area, and the shutdown has led to a severe shortage of water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene.

Despite international condemnation, Turkey has continued to deprive Syria of water, using it as a weapon of war to exert control over the region. The Turkish government has been accused of deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure, including the water supply, in its military operations in Syria.