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IRAQ WATER TREATMENT VULNERABILITIES (U)

File: 950901_511rept_91.txt

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IRAQ WATER TREATMENT VULNERABILITIES (U) Filename:511rept.91 DTG: 221900Z JAN 91 FM: DIA WASHINGTON DC VIA: NMIST NET TO: CENTCOM INFO: CENTAF UK STRIKE COMMAND MARCENT 18 ABC NAVCENT SOCCENT 7TH CORPS ANKARA SUBJECT: IRAQ WATER TREATMENT VULNERABILITIES (U) AS OF 18 JAN 91 KEY JUDGMENTS.

1. IRAQ DEPENDS ON IMPORTING SPECIALIZED EQUIPMENT AND SOME CHEMICALS TO PURIFY ITS WATER SUPPLY, MOST OF WHICH IS HEAVILY MINERALIZED AND FREQUENTLY BRACKISH TO SALINE.

2. WITH NO DOMESTIC SOURCES OF BOTH WATER TREATMENT REPLACEMENT PARTS AND SOME ESSENTIAL CHEMICALS, IRAQ WILL CONTINUE ATTEMPTS TO CIRCUMVENT UNITED NATIONS SANCTIONS TO IMPORT THESE VITAL COMMODITIES.

3. FAILING TO SECURE SUPPLIES WILL RESULT IN A SHORTAGE OF PURE DRINKING WATER FOR MUCH OF THE POPULATION. THIS COULD LEAD TO INCREASED INCIDENCES, IF NOT EPIDEMICS, OF DISEASE AND TO CERTAIN PURE-WATER-DEPENDENT INDUSTRIES BECOMING INCAPACITATED, INCLUDING PETROCHEMICALS, FERTILIZERS, PETROLEUM REFINING, ELECTRONICS, PHARMACEUTICALS, FOOD PROCESSING, TEXTILES, CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION, AND THERMAL POWER PLANTS.

4. IRAQ'S OVERALL WATER TREATMENT CAPABILITY WILL SUFFER A SLOW DECLINE, RATHER THAN A PRECIPITOUS HALT, AS DWINDLING SUPPLIES AND CANNIBALIZED PARTS ARE CONCENTRATED AT HIGHER PRIORITY LOCATIONS. ALTHOUGH IRAQ IS ALREADY EXPERIENCING A LOSS OF WATER TREATMENT CAPABILITY, IT PROBABLY WILL TAKE AT LEAST SIX MONTHS (TO JUNE 1991) BEFORE THE SYSTEM IS FULLY DEGRADED.

5. UNLESS WATER TREATMENT SUPPLIES ARE EXEMPTED FROM THE UN SANCTIONS FOR HUMANITARIAN REASONS, NO ADEQUATE SOLUTION EXISTS FOR IRAQ'S WATER PURIFICATION DILEMMA, SINCE NO SUITABLE ALTERNATIVES,INCLUDING LOOTING SUPPLIES FROM KUWAIT, SUFFICIENTLY MEET IRAQI NEEDS.)

6. IRAQI WATER QUALITY. SURFACE WATER FROM THE TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES RIVER SYSTEM SUPPLIES ABOUT HALF OF IRAQ'S LAND AREA, INCLUDING URBAN AREAS AND THEIR ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIES. IRAQ'S REMAINING AREA, PRIMARILY RURAL, RELIES ON GROUND WATER FROM WELLS. THE QUALITY OF UNTREATED WATER THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY VARIES WIDELY BUT GENERALLY IS POOR. HEAVY MINERALIZATION, SUSPENDED SOLIDS AND FREQUENTLY, HIGH SALINITY CHARACTERIZE IRAQ'S WATER SUPPLY. ALTHOUGH IRAQ HAS MADE A CONSIDERABLE EFFORT TO SUPPLY PURE WATER TO ITS POPULATION, THE WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM WAS UNRELIABLE EVEN BEFORE THE UNITED NATIONS SANCTIONS WERE IMPOSED. MOST IRAQIS PREFER TO DRINK IMPORTED BOTTLED WATER.

7. THE MINERALS IN THE WATER INCLUDE CONCENTRATIONS OF CARBONATES, SULFATE, CHLORIDES, AND, IN SOME LOCATIONS, NITRATES. DRINKING HEAVILY MINERALIZED WATER COULD RESULT IN DIARRHEA AND, OVER THE LONG TERM, STONES FORMING WITHIN THE BODY. FOR INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS, PIPES AND OTHER EQUIPMENT WOULD SCALE (BECOME ENCRUSTED), EVENTUALLY CAUSING PLANTS TO SHUT DOWN. SCALING IN BOILERS WOULD CAUSE EXPLOSIONS IF NOT PREVENTED OR REMOVED.

8. MUCH OF IRAQ'S GROUND WATER SUPPLIES ARE BRAKISH TO SALINE. THE LARGE RESERVOIRS NEAR BAGHDAD --THE THARTHAR, HABBANIYAH, AND AL MILH LAKES --ARE SALINE. SINCE THESE LAKES SERVE AS CATCH BASINS FOR FLOODS ON THE TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES RIVERS, THE IRAQIS MUST REDUCE THE WATER VOLUME IN THE LAKES DURING THE LOW-WATER SEASON. EVAPORATION DURING THE SUMMER ACCOMPLISHES THIS IN PART. SINCE REDUCING THE WATER VOLUME IN THE LAKES ONLY INCREASES SALINITY, THE IRAQIS FLUSH THE LAKES BY DIVERTING FRESH WATER FROM UP STREAM ON THE TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES. THE FLOW IS DISCHARGED FURTHER DOWNSTREAM TO AVOID FILLING THE BASINS. SINCE THE DISCHARGE OCCURS WHERE THE RIVERS ENTER THE MESOPOTAMIAN PLAIN, THE DISCHARGE INCREASES THE NATURAL SALINITY OF THE WATERS DOWNSTREAM, AFFECTING IRRIGATED AGRICULTURAL LANDS IRAQ SPECIALIZES IN - SALINE-RESISTANT CROPS SUCH AS BARLEY AND DATES) AND URBAN AREAS, INCLUDING BAGHDAD. THE KARKH WATER TREATMENT PROJECT FOR WESTERN BAGHDAD HAS AN INTAKE POINT ABOUT 40 KILOMETERS NORTH OF BAGHDAD, UPSTREAM FROM WHERE LAKE THARTHAR DISCHARGES INTO THE TIGRIS. WATER BELOW THE DISCHARGE POINT REQUIRES DESALINIZATION.

9. AT BASRAH, THE SHATT AL ARAB TENDS TO BE SALINE UNDER CONDITIONS OF LOW-RIVER WATER VOLUMES AND DEPENDING ON TIDE AND WIND DIRECTIONS. NORMALLY, THE SHATT AL ARAB AT BASRAH HAS A SALINITY OF 1,500 TO 2,000 PARTS PER MILLION (PPM). SALINITY HAS BEEN INCREASING OVER THE LAST 5 YEARS, AND IN THE FALL 1989, THE SALINITY HAD REACHED 6,000 TO 7,000 PPM, HIGHER THAN EXISTING DESALINIZATION SYSTEMS COULD HANDLE. (OCEAN SEA WATER IS ABOUT 36,000 PPM OF DISSOLVED SALTS; THE PERSIAN GULF IS APPROXIMATELY 42,000 PPM. BRACKISH WATER IS A MINIMUM OF 1,000 PPM. THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION STANDARD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION IS 500 PPM OR LESS. GROUND WATER IN IRAQ'S LOWER MESOPOTAMIAN BASIN RANGES FROM 5,000 TO 60,000 PPM, WITH SOME LOCATIONS REACHING 80,000). SALINE WATER IS UNFIT FOR DRINKING AND CORRODES INDUSTRIAL PIPES OR OTHER EXPOSED EQUIPMENT.

10. SUSPENDED SOLIDS, PRIMARILY SILT, IN THE TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES RIVER SYSTEM INCREASE WITH WATER VOLUME. UNLESS REMOVED FROM THE WATER, THESE PARTICLES WOULD CLOG PIPES AND FILTERS AND WOULD REQUIRE STRAINING BEFORE CONSUMPTION BY END USERS.

11. IRAQ'S RIVERS ALSO CONTAIN BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS, POLLUTANTS, AND ARE LADEN WITH BACTERIA. UNLESS THE WATER IS PURIFIED WITH CHLORINE EPIDEMICS OF SUCH DISEASES AS CHOLERA, HEPATITIS, AND TYPHOID COULD OCCUR.

12. WATER TREATMENT REGIMES. WATER TREATMENT IS SPECIFIC TO THE IMPURITIES OF THE WATER TREATED AND TO THE APPLICATION FOR WHICH THE WATER WILL BE USED. THE BASIC PROCESS REQUIRES CLARIFICATION (REMOVING SUSPENDED SOLIDS), FILTRATION, AND, FOR DRINKING AND SOME INDUSTRIAL USES, PURIFICATION. IN IRAQ, THE PROCESS ALSO INCLUDES DESALINATING AND WATER SOFTENING.

13. CLARIFICATION REQUIRES ADDING FLOCCULANTS AND COAGULANTS TO THE WATER. THE IRAQIS USE ALUMINUM SULFATE ALTHOUGH IRON SULFATES ARE ACCEPTABLE TO BIND THE SUSPENDED SOLIDS INTO CLUMPS FOR SETTLING. IF NOT REMOVED, THE SEDIMENTS, OR SLUDGE, WOULD CLOG THE FILTRATION SYSTEM (PROBABLY SAND) AND SHUT DOWN THE WATER PURIFICATION PLANT UNTIL THE CLOGS WERE REMOVED. ALUMINUM SULFATE SUPPLY LEVELS ARE KNOWN TO BE CRITICALLY LOW, SINCE IRAQ TRIED AND FAILED TO OBTAIN PRECURSOR CHEMICALS FROM JORDAN FOR ITS MANUFACTURE.

14. CHLORINATION NORMALLY IS ACCOMPLISHED DURING SEVERAL STAGES OF PURIFICATION, INCLUDING THE INITIAL TREATMENT STAGE TO PREVENT THE EQUIPMENT FROM LIMING AND TO KILL PATHOGENS JUST PRIOR TO STORING THE FULLY TREATED WATER. THE CHLORINE USED IN MOST PLANTS IS EITHER SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE, A LIQUID, OR CALCIUM HYPOCHLORITE, A POWDER. IF THEY ARE EQUIPPED WITH INJECTORS, LOW-CAPACITY PLANTS CAN USE CHLORINE GAS DIRECTLY. IRAQ'S PLANT IN FALLUJA AND THE PC-I PETROCHEMICAL PLANT AT BASRAH PRODUCE SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE AND, AS A BYPRODUCT, CAUSTIC SODA, WHICH IS USED TO ADJUST THE PH OF WATER SUPPLIES. NORMALLY, BOTH LOCATIONS PRODUCE RELATIVELY SMALL QUANTITIES OF CHLORINE FOR INDUSTRIAL AND SOME MUNICIPAL USE; CHLORINE FOR MUNICIPAL SUPPLIES ALSO IS IMPORTED. RECENT REPORTS INDICATE THE CHLORINE SUPPLY IS CRITICALLY LOW. ITS IMPORTATION HAS BEEN EMBARGOED, AND BOTH MAIN PRODUCTION PLANTS EITHER HAD BEEN SHUT DOWN FOR A TIME OR HAVE BEEN PRODUCING MINIMAL OUTPUTS BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF IMPORTED CHEMICALS AND THE INABILITY TO REPLACE PARTS. PREVIOUSLY WHEN SUPPLIES WERE LOW, THE IRAQIS HAVE STOPPED CHLORINATING THE DRINKING WATER, BUT ONLY FOR SHORT PERIODS. TO RETARD ALGAE GROWTH, WHICH COULD CLOG PIPES, COPPER SULFATE NORMALLY IS ADDED TO THE WATER. BUT THIS PRACTICE HAS NOT BEEN VERIFIED IN IRAQ, AND SUPPLIES OF COPPER SULFATE ARE UNKNOWN. SULFURIC ACID TYPICALLY IS ADDED AS WELL, BUT IRAQ PROBABLY CAN PRODUCE SUFFICIENT SUPPLIES.

15. IRAQ APPARENTLY USES LIME, AT LEAST AT THE NEW KARKH TREATMENT PLANT, TO SOFTEN WATER. THE LIME PRECIPITATES COLLOIDAL CARBONATE IMPURITIES FROM THE WATER. SODA ASH AND ZEOLITES ALSO NORMALLY ARE USED TO REMOVE NONCARBONATE MINERAL IMPURITIES, BUT THEIR USE IN IRAQ HAS NOT BEEN DETERMINED. LOCAL COMPANIES SELL BOTTLED SOFT WATER IN IRAQ, SUGGESTING THAT MUNICIPAL WATER SYSTEMS DO NOT NORMALLY SOFTEN WATER. IRAQ SHOULD HAVE NO SHORTAGES OF LIME. HOWEVER, THE LACK OF SOFTENING CHEMICALS REPORTEDLY HAS INCAPACITATED THE BOTTLED SOFT-WATER INDUSTRY.

16. BETWEEN 1982 AND 1990, SOME IRAQI INDUSTRIES INSTALLED REVERSIBLE ION EXCHANGE ELECTRODIALYSIS MEMBRANE SYSTEMS, OBTAINED FROM AN AMERICAN SOURCE, TO SOFTEN AND DESALINATE WATER. THE MEMBRANES LAST 5 TO 7 YEARS AND DO NOT REQUIRE CHEMICAL PRETREATMENT OF THE WATER. THEY NORMALLY SERVE SMALLER VOLUME REQUIREMENTS. HOWEVER, A MAJOR OIL REFINERY, AL DAURA IN BAGHDAD, INSTALLED THIS SYSTEM IN 1985, AND IT PRODUCES 24,000 CUBIC METERS OF PURIFIED WATER PER DAY.

17. ABOUT ONE QUARTER OF ALL IRAQI WATER SUPPLIED FOR INDUSTRIAL AND HUMAN CONSUMPTION REQUIRES DESALINIZATION. IRAQ RELIES ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY ON ION EXCHANGE OR REVERSE OSMOSIS SYSTEMS RATHER THAN MULTISTAGE FLASH UNITS. ION EXCHANGE AND REVERSE OSMOSIS MEMBRANES ARE SPECIFIC TO THE TYPE OF EQUIPMENT OF WHICH THEY ARE A COMPONENT, AS ARE THE CHEMICALS REQUIRED. PREVIOUS IRAQI USE OF SUBSTITUTES HAS NOT BEEN SATISFACTORY. IRAQ REPORTEDLY DEPENDS ON IMPORTED MEMBRANES AND IMPORTS CHEMICALS FROM SEVERAL SOURCES. IRAQ HAD NOT COMPLETED THE MAJOR PURCHASE AND DELIVERY OF SPARE MEMBRANES BEFORE INVADING KUWAIT. ATTEMPTS TO PROCURE MEMBRANES SINCE THE UN SANCTIONS WERE IMPOSED HAVE FAILED. SINCE THE ATTEMPT TO IMPORT MEMBRANES CORRESPOND TO THEIR NORMAL REPLACEMENT PERIOD, IRAQ APPARENTLY DID NOT STOCKPILE ABUNDANT SPACE MEMBRANES OR CHEMICALS AND PROBABLY HAD NO MORE THAN A 2-MONTH SUPPLY PRIOR TO THE INVASION.

18. POLYAMIDE MEMBRANES WHICH IRAQ USES IN SOME DESALINIZATION EQUIPMENT, DETERIORATE WHEN EXPOSED TO CHLORINE IONS. PRIOR TO PASSING THROUGH THE MEMBRANE, WATER IS TREATED WITH SODIUM METABISULPHITE TO REMOVE THE CHLORINE USED IN PRETREATMENT. THE CHLORINE THEN IS RESTORED FOR LATER PURIFICATION. THE STATUS OF SODIUM METABISULPHITE SUPPLIES IS NOT KNOWN, BUT SUPPLIES PROBABLY ARE DWINDLING, WHICH WILL ESCALATE FAILURES OF THIS MEMBRANE TYPE. IRAQ ALSO USES CELLULOSE ACETATE MEMBRANES (AN OLD TECHNOLOGY), WHICH HAVE AN EXCEPTIONALLY SHORT LIFE AND ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO BIOLOGICAL CONTAMINATION. IRAQ REPORTEDLY CAN MANUFACTURE CELLULOSE MEMBRANES, BUT THE AVAILABILITY OF PRECURSOR STOCKS IS PROBABLY LOW. IRAQ HAD BEEN ACQUIRING REVERSE ELECTRODIALYSIS ION EXCHANGE MEMBRANES PRIOR TO THE UN SANCTIONS. HOWEVER, MOST SYSTEMS USE REVERSE OSMOSIS OR UNIDIRECTIONAL ELECTRODIALYSIS, WHICH, UNLIKE REVERSE ELECTRODIALYSIS MEMBRANES, REQUIRE CHEMICALS TO MAKE THEM WORK.

19. INDUSTRIAL WATER TREATMENT. INDUSTRIES REQUIRE TREATED WATER, AND THE TYPE OF TREATMENT DEPENDS ON THE APPLICATION. NORMALLY, SOFTENING AND DESALINIZATION ARE REBURIED TO PREVENT PIPE SAND EQUIPMENT FROM CORRODING OR SCALING. IN THE PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRY, WATER USED FOR COOLING IS PARTIALLY TREATED TO PREVENT SCALING. WATER USED IN THERMAL POWER PLANTS OR REFINERIES TO PRODUCE STEAM MUST BE PURE TO PREVENT BOTH CORROSION AND SCALING. OTHERWISE, LOSS OF CAPABILITY COULD OCCUR WITHIN 2 MONTHS. IN ADDITION, FOOD PROCESSING, ELECTRONIC, AND, PARTICULARLY, PHARMACEUTICAL PLANTS REQUIRE EXTREMELY PURE WATER THAT IS FREE FROM BIOLOGICAL CONTAMINANTS. LARGE INDUSTRIAL PLANTS, INCLUDING PETROCHEMICAL, REFINING, AND FERTILIZER PLANTS, COLLOCATE THEIR WATER TREATMENT FACILITIES. TURNKEY CONTRACTORS BUILT THESE FACILITIES, AND THE PARTS ARE SPECIFIC TO EACH SYSTEM, WHICH COMPLICATES THEIR REPLACEMENT. THE IRAQIS COULD NOT MANUFACTURE DUPLICATES AND THEIR IMPORTATION IS EMBARGOED.

20. IRAQI ALTERNATIVES. IRAQ COULD TRY CONVINCING THE UNITED NATIONS OR INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES TO EXEMPT WATER TREATMENT SUPPLIES FROM SANCTIONS FOR HUMANITARIAN REASONS. IT PROBABLY ALSO IS ATTEMPTING TO PURCHASE SUPPLIES BY USING SOME SYMPATHETIC COUNTRIES AS FRONTS. IF SUCH ATTEMPTS FAIL, IRAQI ALTERNATIVES ARE NOT ADEQUATE FOR THEIR NATIONAL REQUIREMENTS.

21. VARIOUS IRAQI INDUSTRIES HAVE WATER TREATMENT CHEMICALS AND EQUIPMENT ON HAND, IF THEY HAVE NOT ALREADY BEEN CONSUMED OR BROKEN. IRAQ POSSIBLY COULD CANNIBALIZE PARTS OR ENTIRE SYSTEMS FROM LOWER TO HIGHER PRIORITY PLANTS, AS WELL AS DIVERT CHEMICALS, SUCH AS CHLORINE. HOWEVER, THIS CAPABILITY WOULD BE LIMITED AND TEMPORARY. IRAQ PREVIOUSLY HAD ACQUIRED SEVERAL HUNDRED CONTAINERIZED REVERSE OSMOSIS MODULES FOR LOCALIZED USE THAT COULD BE RELOCATED. WITHOUT CHEMICALS AND REPLACEMENT MEMBRANES, THESE UNITS EVENTUALLY WOULD BECOME USELESS. HOWEVER, CONSOLIDATING CHEMICALS OR CANNIBALIZING PARTS AND MOVING UNITS WHERE NECESSARY COULD SUSTAIN SOME PURIFICATION OPERATIONS. INDUSTRIAL PLANTS THAT ARE INOPERABLE FOR REASONS OTHER THAN THE LACK OF WATER TREATMENT SUPPLIES COULD PROCESS WATER FOR MUNICIPAL NEEDS OR POSSIBLY RELOCATE THEIR PURIFICATION EQUIPMENT.

22. THE DIFFERENCE IN WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS LIMITS THE BENEFITS TO IRAQ OF PLUNDERING KUWAIT'S WATER TREATMENT CHEMICALS. THE KUWAITIS RELY PRIMARILY ON DESALINATING SEA WATER, AND THEIR WATER NEEDS ARE CONSIDERABLY SMALLER THAN IRAQ'S. IRAQ COULD NOT USE CHEMICALS INTENDED FOR KUWAITI WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS, EXCEPT FOR LIMITED QUANTITIES OF CHLORINE. ATTEMPTS TO CIRCUMVENT THE SANCTIONS TO OBTAIN WATER TREATMENT CHEMICALS SUGGEST THAT ANY USEFUL SUPPLIES FROM KUWAIT ALREADY HAVE BEEN LOOTED AND USED.

23. IRAQ HAS INSTALLED A PIPELINE FROM THE DOHA DESALINIZATION PLANT IN KUWAIT THAT CONNECTS WITH DISTRIBUTION PIPES AT A WATER TREATMENT PLANT NEAR BASRAH. THIS SOURCE OF PURE WATER APPARENTLY HAS ENABLED THE PC-I PETROCHEMICAL PLANT TO OPERATE AND TO PRODUCE CHLORINE BY ELECTROLYSIS OF KUWAITI WATER MIXED WITH PURE SODIUM CHLORIDE. AT LEAST SOME OF THIS CHLORINE PROBABLY IS USED FOR MUNICIPAL WATER PURIFICATION, BUT THE QUANTITY PRODUCED WOULD BE INADEQUATE FOR NATIONAL REQUIREMENTS. MOREOVER, SOME OF THE CHLORINE PROBABLY IS USED AT THE PC-I PLANT TO MAKE POLYVINYL CHLORIDES TO CREATE THE PLASTIC SHEETS USED IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION. THE USE OF KUWAITI WATER PROBABLY WILL NOT LAST LONG SINCE THE DOHA PLANT USES THE MULTISTAGE FLASH DESALINIZATION PROCESS, WHICH REQUIRES ACID DOSING OR THE ADDITION OF POLYMERS TO PREVENT SCALING OF THE HEAT EXCHANGES. THE UN SANCTIONS MAY PREVENT RESUPPLY OF THESE CHEMICALS. INTENSIVE MAINTENANCE ALSO IS REQUIRED TO KEEP THE UNITS OPERATING, AND THAT PROBABLY WOULD REQUIRE THE SERVICES OF TRAINED KUWAITI EMPLOYEES SINCE IRAQ HAS LITTLE EXPERIENCE WITH MULTISTAGE FLASH UNITS.

24. IRAQ'S BEST SOURCES OF QUALITY WATER ARE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF THE NORTH AND NORTHEAST, WHERE MINERALIZATION AND SALINITY ARE WITHIN ACCEPTABLE LIMITS. FOR THE SHORT TERM, IRAQ CONCEIVABLY COULD TRUCK WATER FROM THE MOUNTAIN RESERVOIRS TO URBAN AREAS. BUT THE CAPABILITY TO GAIN SIGNIFICANT QUANTITIES IS EXTREMELY LIMITED. THE AMOUNT OF PIPE ON HAND AND THE LACK OF PUMPING STATIONS WOULD LIMIT LAYING PIPELINES TO THESE RESERVOIRS. MOREOVER, WITHOUT CHLORINE PURIFICATION, THE WATER STILL WOULD CONTAIN BIOLOGICAL POLLUTANTS. SOME AFFLUENT IRAQIS COULD OBTAIN THEIR OWN MINIMALLY ADEQUATE SUPPLY OF GOOD QUALITY WATER FROM NORTHERN IRAQI SOURCES. IF BOILED, THE WATER COULD BE SAFELY CONSUMED. POORER IRAQIS AND INDUSTRIES REQUIRING LARGE QUANTITIES OF PURE WATER WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO MEET THEIR NEEDS.

25. PRECIPITATION OCCURS IN IRAQ DURING THE WINTER AND SPRING,BUT IT FALLS PRIMARILY IN THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS. SPORADIC RAINS, SOMETIMES HEAVY, FALL OVER THE LOWER PLAINS. BUT IRAQ COULD NOT RELY ON RAIN TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE PURE WATER.

26. THE SALINE OR ALKALINE CONTENT-OF GROUND WATER IN MOST LOCATIONS WOULD CONSTRAIN DRILLING WELLS IN THE MESOPOTAMIAN PLAIN TO OBTAIN PURER WATER. MOREOVER, MUCH OF THE POPULATION USES SEPTIC TANKS, AND THE UNDERLYING GEOLOGY AND TOPOGRAPHY WOULD CONTAMINATE WELLS IN MANY LOCATIONS.

27. IRAQ WILL SUFFER INCREASING SHORTAGES OF PURIFIED WATER BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF REQUIRED CHEMICALS AND DESALINIZATION MEMBRANES. INCIDENCES OF DISEASE, INCLUDING POSSIBLE EPIDEMICS, WILL BECOME PROBABLE UNLESS THE POPULATION WERE CAREFUL TO BOIL WATER BEFORE CONSUMPTION, PARTICULARLY SINCE THE SEWAGE TREATMENT SYSTEM, NEVER A HIGH PRIORITY, WILL SUFFER THE SAME LOSS OF CAPABILITY WITH THE LACK OF CHLORINE. LOCALLY PRODUCED FOOD AND MEDICINE COULD BE CONTAMINATED. LACK OF COAGULATION CHEMICALS WILL CAUSE PERIODIC SHUTDOWNS OF TREATMENT PLANTS FOR UNCLOGGING AND CLEANING FILTERS, CAUSING INTERRUPTIONS OF WATER SUPPLIES. AS DESALINIZATION EQUIPMENT BECOMES INOPERABLE, SALINE WATER SOURCES WILL BECOME INCREASINGLY UNUSABLE. TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT SHUT DOWNS OF INDUSTRIAL PLANTS THAT RELY ON TREATED WATER WILL MULTIPLY. CANNIBALIZING LOWER PRIORITY OPERATIONS WILL ACCELERATE THE TREND.

28. THE ENTIRE IRAQI WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM WILL NOT COLLAPSE PRECIPITOUSLY, BUT ITS CAPABILITIES WILL DECLINE STEADILY AS DWINDLING SUPPLIES INCREASINGLY ARE DIVERTED TO HIGHER PRIORITY SITES WITH COMPATIBLE EQUIPMENT. KARKH, IRAQ'S LARGEST WATER TREATMENT PLANT (AND ONE OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST), WAS DESIGNED TO STORE 30 DAYS OF SUPPLIES ON SITE. THE QUANTITY OF SUPPLIES, IF ANY, NORMALLY STOCKPILED IN CENTRALIZED WAREHOUSES BEFORE SHIPMENT TO TREATMENT PLANTS IS UNKNOWN, BUT A 6 MONTH TO 1 YEAR SUPPLY OF CHEMICALS IS THE NORMAL INDUSTRIAL PRACTICE. HOWEVER, CURRENT IRAQI EFFORTS TO OBTAIN CHEMICALS AND MEMBRANES AND THE INSTALLATION OF A PIPELINE TO OBTAIN PURE KUWAITI WATER SUGGEST THAT THERE WAS NOT ADEQUATE STOCKPILING PRIOR TO THE INVASION OF KUWAIT. SOME CHEMICALS ARE DEPLETED OR ARE NEARING DEPLETION, AND OLDER MEMBRANES ARE NOT BEING REPLACED ON SCHEDULE. CONSEQUENTLY, IRAQ PROBABLY IS USING UNTREATED OR PARTIALLY TREATED WATER IN SOME LOCATIONS. FULL DEGRADATION OF THE WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM PROBABLY WILL TAKE AT LEAST ANOTHER 6 MONTHS.

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