Model of the dam
|Official name||Ilısu Baraji|
|Location||Dargeçit, Mardin Province, Turkey|
|Construction began||August 5, 2006|
|Opening date||2015 (est.)|
|Construction cost||US$1.7 billion|
|Owner(s)||State Hydraulic Works|
|Dam and spillways|
|Type of dam||Embankment, rock-fill|
|Height (thalweg)||135 m (443 ft)|
|Length||1,820 m (5,971 ft)|
|Elevation at crest||530 m (1,739 ft)|
|Width (crest)||15 m (49 ft)|
|Width (base)||610 m (2,001 ft)|
|Dam volume||43,800,000 m3 (35,509 acre·ft)|
|Spillway type||Service overflow, controlled-chute|
|Spillway capacity||18,000 m3/s (635,664 cu ft/s)|
|Total capacity||10,410,000,000 m3 (8,440,000 acre·ft)|
|Active capacity||7,460,000,000 m3 (6,050,000 acre·ft)|
|Inactive capacity||2,950,000,000 m3 (2,390,000 acre·ft)|
|Catchment area||35,517 km2 (13,713 sq mi)|
|Surface area||313 km2 (121 sq mi)|
|Max. length||244 km (152 mi) (combined)|
|Max. water depth||126.8 m (416 ft)|
|Normal elevation||525 m (1,722 ft)|
|Commission date||2015 (est.)|
|Hydraulic head||122.6 m (402 ft) (gross)|
|Turbines||6 x 200 MW Francis-type|
|Installed capacity||1,200 MW|
|Annual generation||3,833 GWh (est.)|
The Ilısu Dam (Turkish pronunciation: [ɯɫɯˈsu]) is an embankment dam under construction on the Tigris near the village of Ilısu and along the border of Mardin and Sirnak Provinces in Turkey. It is one of the 22 dams of the Southeastern Anatolia Project and its purpose is hydroelectric power production, flood control and water storage. When complete, the dam will support a 1,200 MW power station and will form a 10.4 billion m3 reservoir. Construction of the dam began in 2006 and it is expected to be complete by 2015. As part of the project, the much smaller Cizre Dam is to be constructed downstream for irrigation and power. The dam has drawn international controversy, because it will flood portions of ancient Hasenkeyf and necessitate the relocation of people living in the region. Because of this, the dam lost international funding in 2008.
The Ilısu Dam will be a 135 m (443 ft) high and 1,820 m (5,971 ft) wide rock-fill embankment dam with a structural volume of 43,900,000 m3 (35,590 acre·ft). It will be 15 m (49 ft) wide at its crest and 610 m (2,001 ft) wide at its base. The dam will have an overflow spillway on its right bank which will be controlled by eight radial gates which will pour into four chutes before the water reaches a plunge pool. Its power station will be above ground and will contain 6 x 200 MW Francis turbine-generators with an expected annual generation of 3,833 GWh and gross hydraulic head of 122.6 m (402 ft). The dam's reservoir will have a capacity of 10,400,000,000 m3 (8,431,417 acre·ft), of which 7,460,000,000 m3 (6,050,000 acre·ft) will be active (or live, useful) storage and 2,950,000,000 m3 (2,390,000 acre·ft) will be inactive (dead) storage. At a normal elevation of 525 m (1,722 ft) above sea level, the reservoir surface area will cover 313 km2 (121 sq mi).
A study for the dam was made in 1954 and in 1997 it was added to the national plan. On August 5, 2006 the foundation stone for the dam was laid and initial construction began.
To avoid inflation and other economic repercussions, the Turkish Government has often sought outside assistance to fund the Ilısu Dam Project. However, pressure from environmental and human rights groups have often halted this process. In 2000, the British Government declined $236 million in funding for the Ilısu Dam. Before the 2006 ground-breaking ceremony, German, Swiss and Austrian export credit agencies had agreed to fund $610 million of the project. In December 2008, the European firms suspended funds for the dam and gave Turkey a 180-day period to comply with over 150 international standards. In June 2009, after failing to meet the standards, the European firms officially cut the funding for the Ilısu Dam Project. Shortly after the announcement of the funding loss, Turkey's Environment Minister Veysel Eroğlu said “Let me tell you this, these power plants will be built. No one can stop it. This is the decision of the state and the government.” Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is also committed to the Ilısu Dam Project as well and claims Turkey will use internal or other international funding. Turkey stated that construction would start again in July 2009. In February 2010 it was announced that loans had been granted and the project would continue. On 15 July 2010, Andritz Hydro lifted a temporary suspension on supplying parts to the project and announced it would provide the six 200 MW Francis turbines for the power plant.
As part of early and ongoing construction, 52 km (32 mi) of roads are subject to raising and repairing work. A 110 m (361 ft) long temporary bridge was constructed upstream of the dam site which is supported by 30 sections of steel pipe. Additionally, a 250 m (820 ft) permanent steel-girder bridge with concrete supports was constructed just downstream of the dam. Construction of new Ilısu and Koçtepe villages are currently underway as well as the relocation of major portions of Hasankeyf. Excavations for the main body of the dam began in May 2011 and the first loads of fill were laid in January 2012. Diversion of the Tigris River began during a ceremony on 29 August 2012. As of April 2014 the project is 60% complete while the resettlement of Hasankeyf is 73% complete. All works are expected to be completed in 2015.
In January 2015 Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) threatened the lives of workers at the dam site. On 3 February 2015 a convoy of supplies for the dam was attacked, injuring three. Several days later a worker was killed in his home by suspected PKK militants.
According to KHRP, completion of the Ilısu Dam will cause the flooding of the ancient city of Hasankeyf, whose history stretches back over 10,000 years. About 185 settlements (villages and hamlets) will be fully or partially affected by flooding. The involuntary resettlement process will involve 55,000–65,000 people (40,000 Turkish Gov't estimates). Census data is not available yet.
Alternatively, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, at the ground-breaking ceremony, stated : "The step that we are taking today demonstrates that the south-east is no longer neglected. This dam will bring big gains to the local people." Ankara hopes that the dam - part of a long-term plan to develop the poor, mainly Kurdish region - will create up to 10,000 jobs, irrigate farmlands and attract tourists. The government has promised to compensate local people who will lose their homes and that all the valuable artifacts will be relocated before the dam's completion in 2015.
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- Turkey begins controversial dam, August 5, 2006, BBC News
- Environmental Impact Assessment Report (English)
- GAP (Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Development Southeastern Anatolia Project Regional Development Administration)English
- International Ilisu Dam Campaign
- Ilisu Hydroelectric Project on PBS
- Nature Association (Doga Dernegi) page on Ilisu/Hasankeyf