Light at end of water tunnel in sight
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
The 17-kilometer Suruç Tunnel, which has been dug for the last two years, will irrigate around 95,000 hectares of arid-like land when finished this autumn. AA photoA total of 14,508 meters have been dug in the 17-kilometer Suruç Tunnel, which is planned to be Turkey’s biggest water distribution tunnel.
The tunnel, which has been dug for the last two years, will irrigate around 95,000 hectares of arid-like land when finished this autumn. Through the tunnel, 90 tons of water per second are planned to flow from Atatürk Dam, Turkey’s biggest, into the Suruç Valley in Southeast Anatolia. The tunnel is expected to make $75 million on average annually, creating around 200,000 new jobs.
“We are planning to start water flow from the tunnel by Oct. 29, Turkish Republic Day,” said Numan Doğan Gündüz, 15th district manager of the General Directorate of Turkish State Hydraulic Water (DSİ). He added that 14,508 meters had been dug and cemented so far.
Agricultural productivity is quite low and only dry farming is currently possible in the Suruç Valley. “Over 8,000 farmers will be able to produce more profitable agricultural products after the tunnel is completed.
They could produce cotton and corn instead of less profitable products, like lentils or wheat,” Gündüz added.
The planning of the tunnel, which forms the most important stage of the Suruç Valley Pumped Irrigation Project, was started in 1990 but could not be completed for years. The Suruç Valley Pumped Irrigation Project was tendered on Dec. 25, 2008 within the scope of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Action Plan and work was physically started on March 18, 2009. The tunnel will be one of the 10 biggest water distribution tunnels in the world.