Sophia's Peace Work

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sampling in Kurdistan, Iraq

Now that the Tigris River Flotilla water quality sampling effort is complete, I returned to Sulaimani, in Kurdistan, northern Iraq on Thursday.  After a short visit in the office I went out the next morning sampling with J and R.  I'm trying to hit some of our regular water quality stations on the Lesser Zab River and the Tanjero/Diyala River Basins (both major tributaries to the Tigris River).

There are about 24 stations that we sampled in the spring in these two basins and I want to try and get fall samples from these locations as well. On Friday we got Kani Shok (a Lesser Zab River Station) with J and R (before R had to catch his flight to London) and yesterday I visited Raparin (a Tanjero/Diyala River Station).

I'm hoping to get some students from the American University of Iraq- Sulaimani involved in the sampling effort because they have a teacher there who is interested in the program.  If we can get this additional sampling data over the next month that I'm here it will make the final Scorecard more solid.

A Scorecard is basically a report that gives a grade (A, B, C ... F) to the different parts of the river basins based on the results of the water quality testing effort.  This will make the data much more user-friendly for the public to understand what's happening in their waterways. And it will also allow us to monitor the success of any future attempts to clean up and protect these waterways.

J & I sampling at the Kani Shok Springs (above station Z8), which are characterized by low oxygen

Raparain stream/drainage ditch (Station T1). Got the highest reading so far for Phosphates (over the 5.5 mg/L limit of the device. The official legal limit should be less than 0.4 mg/L). Oxygen was also extremely low.


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