Fallujah Barrage

The Fallujah Barrage is a barrage on the Euphrates near Fallujah in Al Anbar Governorate, Iraq. Construction of the barrage was completed in 1985. Unlike many other dams in the Euphrates, the Fallujah Barrage does not include a hydroelectric power station and its main function is to raise the water level of the river for irrigation. The barrage consists of two separate parts. The main stretch of the barrage has ten gates measuring 16 by 8.5 metres (52 ft × 28 ft), allowing a maximum discharge of 3,600 cubic metres (130,000 cu ft) per second. The second part on the left bank of the river has eight gates that are 6 metres (20 ft) wide. These gates divert water toward two separate irrigation channels. Their maximum discharge is 104 cubic metres (3,700 cu ft) per second.[1]

Fallujah Barrage
Fallujah Barrage USACE NWD.jpg
Fallujah Barrage is located in Iraq
Fallujah Barrage
Location of Fallujah Barrage in Iraq
LocationAl Anbar Governorate, Iraq
Coordinates33°18′31″N 43°46′21″E / 33.30861°N 43.77250°E / 33.30861; 43.77250Coordinates: 33°18′31″N 43°46′21″E / 33.30861°N 43.77250°E / 33.30861; 43.77250
Opening date1985
Dam and spillways

The construction of the Fallujah Barrage was first proposed in 1923 as part of a large project to increase the production of cotton in Iraq.[2] Construction of the barrage did however start only much later. The barrage was constructed adjacent to the actual Euphrates channel so that the water did not have to be diverted during construction. The Euphrates flow was only diverted toward the barrage in 1985 when it was completed.[1] It was intended that 225,000 hectares (560,000 acres) would be irrigated as part of this project.[3] After the 2003 invasion in Iraq, repairs have been carried out at the Fallujah Barrage.[4]

During the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant occupation of Fallujah in April 2014, insurgents took control of the barrage and closed its floodgates for several days which briefly deprived downstream areas of water. The gates were later opened likely due to flooding in upstream areas and excessive reservoir levels.[5] The militants also opened the dam in an attempt to flood oncoming Iraqi forces.[6]


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ Haj, Samira (1997). The making of Iraq, 1900-1963: capital, power, and ideology. SUNY Series in the Social and Economic History of the Middle East. Albany: SUNY. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-7914-3241-9.
  3. ^ Fisher, William Bayne (1978). The Middle East: a physical, social, and regional geography. Advanced Geography Series. Vol. 648 (7 ed.). Routledge. p. 386. ISBN 978-0-416-71520-0.
  4. ^ Garamone, Jim (24 April 2004). "Coalition Following Fallujah Agreement, Enemy Not Complying". GlobalSecurity.org. American Forces Information Service. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Iraqi government forces say ISIS water supply sabotage foiled". Asharq Al Awsat. 9 April 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  6. ^ "US launches airstrikes around Iraq's Haditha Dam". Yahoo News.