Haditha Dam

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Haditha Dam
Haditha Dam Tailrace USACE NWD.jpg
Water outlet of the Haditha Dam
Haditha Dam is located in Iraq
Haditha Dam
Location of Haditha Dam in Iraq
Official nameسد حديثة
LocationHaditha, Al Anbar Governorate, Iraq
Coordinates34°12′25″N 42°21′18″E / 34.20694°N 42.35500°E / 34.20694; 42.35500Coordinates: 34°12′25″N 42°21′18″E / 34.20694°N 42.35500°E / 34.20694; 42.35500
Construction began1977
Opening date1987
Construction costUS$830,000,000
Operator(s)Ministry of Water Resources
Dam and spillways
ImpoundsEuphrates River
Height57 m (187 ft)
Length9,064 m (29,738 ft)
CreatesLake Qadisiyah
Total capacity8.3 km3 (2.0 cu mi)
Surface area500 km2 (193 sq mi)
Power Station
Installed capacity660 MW
A large and high room with six circular metal structures in a single row
Machine hall of the Haditha Power Station

The Haditha Dam (Arabic: سد حديثة, romanizedSadd Ḥadītha) or Qadisiya Dam is an earth-fill dam on the Euphrates, north of Haditha (Iraq), creating Lake Qadisiyah (Arabic: Buhayrat al-Qadisiyyah). The dam is just over 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) long and 57 metres (187 ft) high. The purpose of the dam is to generate hydroelectricity, regulate the flow of the Euphrates and provide water for irrigation. It is the second-largest hydroelectric contributor to the power system in Iraq behind the Mosul Dam.

Project history[edit]

The Haditha Dam project was conceived in the late 1960s; construction began in 1977. The dam embankment was designed by the Soviet Union's Ministry of Energy, with its power station and equipment being designed and constructed by various Yugoslavian firms; these included Hidrogradnja of Sarajevo, as the prime contractor; Energoprojekt of Belgrade for design; Metalna of Maribor[1] for intake gates, bottom outlet gate, radial gates; Litostroj of Ljubljana for turbines; and Rade Končar of Zagreb for generators and transformers. It was conceived of as a multi-purpose project that would generate hydroelectric power, regulate the flow of the Euphrates, and provide water for irrigation. Construction took place between 1977 and 1987 and was a joint undertaking by the Soviet Union and Iraqi governments. The cost of the initial construction of the Haditha Dam is estimated at US$830 million.[2][3][4]

Flooding of Usiyeh and Anah[edit]

With the creation of the Haditha Reservoir, the ancient archeological site of Usiyeh along with Anah were flooded. Usiyeh was located on the right bank of the Euphrates between Haditha and Anah and was excavated by the Japanese Archaeological Expedition in Iraq between 1982 and 1983. A multi-room underground structure along with a staircase, four life-size lion terracotta statues, three medium-sized lion statues and one lion statuette were found. These findings dated back to 1800–1700 BC.[5] Ancient Anah was also flooded and contained a prized minaret. Today, only modern Anah exists.

After the 2003 U.S. invasion[edit]

During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, United States Army Rangers seized the Haditha Dam on 1 April in order to prevent it from being destroyed. Destruction of the dam would have significantly affected the functioning of the country's electrical grid and could cause major flooding downstream from the dam. Afterwards, various U.S. Marine units had been stationed at the dam, as well as a small detachment from Azerbaijan.[6][7]

In 2004, the Gulf Region Division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) carried out restoration work on one of the turbines to restore the dam's hydroelectric power station to full capacity. According to the Coalition Provisional Authority, the inauguration of this turbine on 3 June 2004 signified the first time since 1990 that the power station operated at full capacity.[8] In the same year, a new power line was established between Haditha and Baghdad with the help of the USACE to restore a line that had previously been destroyed. This new line, stretching over a distance of 223 kilometres (139 mi) with 504 towers, has an operating voltage of 400 kV and allows 350 MW of power from the Haditha Dam to be added to the national electrical grid. The cost of the line was US$56.7 million and was paid by Iraq's oil revenues.[7][9]

Characteristics of the dam and the reservoir[edit]

Lake Qadisiyah, as seen from the International Space Station (image inverted, with south and dam shown at top)

The dam is situated in a narrow stretch of the Euphrates Valley where a small secondary channel branched off the main channel. The width of the main channel was 350 metres (1,150 ft) whereas the secondary channel was 50 metres (160 ft) wide. The hydroelectric station is located in this secondary channel. The Haditha Dam is 9,064 metres (29,738 ft) long and 57 metres (187 ft) high, with the hydropower station at 3,310 metres (10,860 ft) from the dam's southern edge. The crest is at 154 metres (505 ft) AMSL and 20 metres (66 ft) wide. Total volume of the dam is 0.03 cubic kilometres (0.0072 cu mi). In cross-section, the dam consists of an asphaltic concrete cutoff wall at its core, followed by mealy detrital dolomites, and a mixture of sand and gravel. These materials were chosen because they are readily available near the construction site. This core is protected by a reinforced concrete slab revetment on the upstream side of the dam, and a rock-mass revetment on the downstream side.[4]

The power station contains six Kaplan turbines capable of generating 660 MW. The turbines are installed in a hydrocombine unit that comprises both the spillway and the hydro-powerplant in one structure. Maximum discharge of the spillway is 11,000 cubic metres (390,000 cu ft) per second. Two bottom outlets on the dam can discharge 3,000 cubic metres (110,000 cu ft) per second for irrigation. Both these outlets and the spillway are controlled by tainter gates.[3]

The Haditha Reservoir or Lake Qadisiyah has a maximum water storage capacity of 8.3 cubic kilometres (2.0 cu mi) and a maximum surface area of 500 square kilometres (190 sq mi). Actual capacity is however 7 cubic kilometres (1.7 cu mi), at which size the surface area is 415 square kilometres (160 sq mi).[10] At maximum capacity, annual evaporation from the lake is estimated at 0.6 cubic kilometres (0.14 cu mi).[2]


  1. ^ Bosch Rexrot Hydraulics references
  2. ^ a b Kliot, Nurit (1994). Water Resources and Conflict in the Middle East. Milton Park: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-09752-5.
  3. ^ a b Iraqi Ministries of Environment, Water Resources and Municipalities and Public Works (2006). "Annex III: Main water control structures (dams and water diversions) and reservoirs". New Eden Master Plan for integrated water resources management in the marshlands areas. New Eden Group.
  4. ^ a b Kamnev, N. M.; Sonichev, N. A.; Malyshev, N. A. (1984). "Earth dam of the Al-Hadithah hydropower development on the Euphrates River". Power Technology and Engineering. 17 (10): 530–33. doi:10.1007/BF01425184. S2CID 109380102.
  5. ^ Oguchi, Kazumi (2004). "Terracotta Objects from Area A of 'Usiyeh, Part 2: Terracotta Statues and Others" (PDF). Al-Rafidan. 25: 9–27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  6. ^ Struck, Doug (8 August 2004). "The Coolest Posting In a Hot War Zone". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Haditha". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  8. ^ "Haditha Dam At Full Operation for First Time Since 1990" (Press release). Coalition Provisional Authority. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  9. ^ O´Hara, Thomas (2004). "Coalition celebrates transfer of power" (PDF). Essayons Forward. 1 (2): 3–4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  10. ^ Jones, C.; Sultan, M.; Yan, E.; Milewski, A.; Hussein, M.; Al-Dousari, A.; Al-Kaisy, S.; Becker, R. (2008), "Hydrologic impacts of engineering projects on the Tigris–Euphrates system and its marshlands", Journal of Hydrology, 353 (1–2): 59–75, Bibcode:2008JHyd..353...59J, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2008.01.029

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