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Reducing unaccounted-for water in Duhok, Iraq

  • Reducing unaccounted-for water in Duhok, Iraq
    View on Duhok with the Duhok Dam in the background. Credit: Claus Weinberg/ Wikipedia

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In Duhok, as in many towns in Iraqi Kurdistan, 40% of the drinking water entering the town's distribution network used to be lost due to visible or underground leaks. In 2019, Aquassistance worked with Action Against Hunger to provide training on identifying and repairing leaks with the aim of reducing unaccounted-for water and guaranteeing equal access to water for all.

The town of Duhok, lying at an altitude of 1200 metres in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, near where Iraq's borders with Turkey and Syria meet, welcomed a training mission in identifying leaks in the drinking water distribution network, organised by Action Against Hunger and Aquassistance, in October 2019. The project lasted six months and enabled the local partner, Directorate of Water (DoW), to remedy the lack of local infrastructure knowledge.

After the course, four leak detection devices were given to DoW. These systems are used to hear acoustic vibrations in the flow of water in order to locate leaks precisely and make it easier to repair the network.

Using this method, about sixty leaks in four districts of the town were identified and repaired, saving water, energy and money while reducing health risks and the risk of destruction of urban heritage. At the request of Action Against Hunger, and well before the course was delivered in Duhok, Aquassistance created a volunteer working group in 2019 dedicated to the search for leaks in order to select and approve the most suitable acoustic detection equipment and prepare course materials, from the illustrated manual to the trainees’ certificates. The course itself included a theoretical section and practical exercises conducted in the streets of Duhok. It also covered the mapping of the network and pressure regulation.

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