Kut Barrage
The Kut Barrage is a barrage
Barrage (dam)
A barrage is a type of dam which consists of a line of large gates that can be opened or closed to control the amount of water passing the dam. The gates are set between flanking piers which are responsible for supporting the water load...

 on the Tigris
The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

 river, located in the modern town of Kut
Al-Kūt is a city in eastern Iraq, on the left bank of the Tigris River, about 160 kilometres south east of Baghdad. the estimated population is about 374,000 people...

 in Wasit Governorate, Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. It is 516 metres (1,692.9 ft) long, 10.5 metres (34.4 ft) high and consists of 56 gates, each 6 metres (19.7 ft) wide. The maximum discharge of the barrage is 6000 cubic metres (7,847.7 cu yd), but actual discharge has not exceeded 2000 cubic metres (2,615.9 cu yd) in the last 10 years. The barrage supports a road and includes a lock
Lock (water transport)
A lock is a device for raising and lowering boats between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. The distinguishing feature of a lock is a fixed chamber in which the water level can be varied; whereas in a caisson lock, a boat lift, or on a canal inclined plane, it is...

 for boats passing up and down the Tigris. Its purpose is to maintain a sufficiently high water level in the Tigris to provide water for the Gharraf irrigation canal
Shatt al-Hayy
The Gharraf Canal, Shaṭṭ al-Ḥayy , also known as Shaṭṭ al-Gharrāf or the Hai river, is an ancient canal that connects Tigris with Euphrates in Iraq. As an Ottoman defensive line lay along the canal, it was a theater to intense military action during First World War; e.g. the siege of Kut...

, which branches off the Tigris just upstream from the Kut Barrage. Before the construction of the Kut Barrage, the Gharraf canal only received water during periods of flood in the Tigris. The water level in the canal is maintained by the Gharraf Head Regulator, which was constructed at the same time as the Kut Barrage.

The Kut Barrage was constructed between 1934 and 1939 by British firms. Construction of the barrage was carried out by 2,500 Arab and Kurdish workers, and involved the removal of 1223288 cubic metres (1,600,000.3 cu yd) of ground. For the barrage itself 191139 cubic metres (250,000.4 cu yd) of concrete was used. A major flood in the Tigris in 1936 caused the building site to be flooded entirely and led to the temporary standstill of the construction works.

In 1952, 26440 hectares (65,334.6 acre) were irrigated from water provided by the Gharraf Canal. Of this newly reclaimed land, 14080 hectares (34,792.4 acre) was distributed to small farmers as part of a social land reform program. These farmers received 10 hectares (24.7 acre) per family and were required to live on the land they farmed. In 2005, repairs and maintenance works were carried out at the Kut Barrage and the Gharraf Head Regulator for a total cost of US$3 million.
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