The purpose of irrigation projects maintenance is to preserve the irrigation and drainage systems as required. The long-term commissioning and use for any origin without conducting maintenance lead to the damage and obsolescence with varying degrees according to commissioning type and workers’ service and experience.
FBSA-report on maintenance of irrigation projects of the Ministry of Water Resources(MoWR) for the period (1/Jan./2011-31/Dec./2017) reveals that 14 canals are out of commission due to the lack of water quotas. Some stations were not supplied with generators to ensure their work in case of power cut off especially in drainage stations which led to (mud accumulation in the pumps platforms and decline of pump efficiency), as stated below:
The report points out malfunctions in other pumps for the same station due to the constant commissioning to compensate the shortage as a result of breakdown stations, accumulation of wastewater sediments in several pumping stations, namely: (Muwailah, new and old Kargholiai and Al-Rashidiya Drainage) due to the pollution resulting from discharge of heavy sewage. Failing to address these problems led to damage electrical and mechanical parts of pumps.
The report also indicates that there are many encroachments on the main and sub rivers in Iraqi governorates such as:- laying pipes, installing pumps and breaking and expanding irrigation outlets randomly. The number of encroachments reached to (2052), including (Salahadin, Babylon, Thi-Qar, Missan and Al-Anbar Governorates) that encroached on the agricultural plan during winter season for(2011-2017)and caused to prevent these lands from water. This matter requires to supply additional water quotas to these areas, thus affects on the allocated quotas for other agricultural lands.
This report recommends to repair malfunction pumps, conduct periodical maintenance by providing the financial allocations, transfer the no longer required stations to another sites, further, replace the old stations by modern ones to ensure their work in case of electric power cut off.
Finally, the report refers to remove the encroachments from irrigation outlets and apply due process and dissuasive penalties against encroachers .