Taza Water Users Pump Rehabilitation; $396,000
Originally government-owned, over 60 sprinkler irrigation pumping stations serve approximately 30,000 acres of cropland in Kirkuk Province. In the mid 1980s Iraq went to war with Iran and was faced with an embargo and difficult economic times. During this time the Iraq government sold or leased the pumping stations to the Iraqi farmers to reduce cost to the government and to generate cash for the war. Faced with a lack of government support and increasing cost of production the Iraqi farmers were unable to sustain the pumping stations and most fell into a state of deferred maintenance to the point that only about 25% were operational at the time that the Saddam regime fell in 2003.
After close inspection and analysis the partners realized that the problem was mostly with the water user associations (approximately 30 farmers per pumping station 1,800 farmers in total), their organizational capacity and sustainability. James developed a pilot program with 12 of the pumping stations and helped them to work collaboratively with the government Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water Resources, and Ministry of Electricity to establish sustainable water user associations and water use contracts with the Iraqi government.
Total project cost has been estimated at roughly $12 to $20 million dollars and will be phased in over a three to five-year course of time. The US government invested $396,000 to upgrade the 12 pumping plants with the remaining investment coming from the the Iraqi government and the individual farmers through self assessment of user fees.
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