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Iraq: Electricity Generation

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his assessment is of the availability of supply of (a) electricity and (b) water in Iraq; what assessment he has made of such availability in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (166053)

The US Iraq Reconstruction Management Office (IRMO) estimate that electricity generation since November 2006 has fluctuated between 3,500 megawatts (MW) and 4,975 MW. The average for 2006 was 4,400 MW, just above the pre-2003 level.

Although 5,000 MW have been added to the national grid since 2003, electricity generation in Iraq is not meeting demand. This is due to several reasons: old and dilapidated infrastructure; a result of years of under-investment and mismanagement; shortage of fuel supplies; and sabotage of key facilities. Furthermore, demand has increased considerably to over 9,000 MW, with the influx of electrical goods such as refrigerators, televisions and air conditioning units.

The most recent reliable data available for water supplies in Iraq comes from the Iraq living conditions survey carried out in 2004 by the Iraqi Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation and the United Nations Development programme. This survey can be found at:

The 2004 UN survey found that in urban areas, 99 per cent. of households have access to safe drinking water (but for 33 per cent. the supply is unreliable). In rural areas, 65 per cent. of households-have access to safe drinking water (but for 22 per cent. the supply is unreliable). Since 2003, donors (including DFID) have worked hard to restore supplies. As a result, IRMO estimates that an additional 5.4 million Iraqis have improved access to drinking water.