95% full

Darbandikhan Dam nears full capacity amid concerns over pollution

DARBANDIKHAN-– The Darbandikhan Dam, one of the largest reservoirs in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, is currently operating at 95% of its water storage capacity following unprecedented rainfall last month.

Darbandikhan Dam, the second-largest in the Kurdistan Region after Dukan, is constructed on Sirwan River in Darbandikhan, 65 km southeast of Sulaymaniyah city. It is utilized for power generation, agriculture, and tourism.

Saman Ismail, the dam’s director, informed 964media that a significant cleanup operation is planned by the end of this month to address the influx of pollutants including plastics and other debris brought in by recent high water levels.

This year, the dam, which can hold up to three billion cubic meters of water, has seen a rapid rise in water levels due to substantial seasonal rainfalls and runoff. “We are the only dam in the region where the water storage level has increased to this extent,” stated Ismail.

As of March 23, the Duhok Dam, which can hold 52 million cubic meters of water, has reached 88% of its capacity.

The increase in water levels, however, brings with it a surge of waste materials from tourist activities and local communities near water sources. “This year, the water volume was high enough to reactivate some previously dried-up sources, which also washed down a significant amount of garbage into the dam, including plastics and nylon,” Ismail added.

On March 27, local officials in Sulaymaniyah reported a notable rise in rainfall, reaching a total of 586 millimeters, surpassing last year’s records by 15 millimeters.

Previously, Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources announced that water reserves surged by 10% following the recent deluge of rainfall across the country.