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New York City Chapter Lecture

On October 28th, Dr. Eugene Z. Stakhiv, Chief of Planning, Policy and Special Studies Division of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Institute for Water Resources (IWR), and recent Interim Minister and Senior Advisor to Iraq’s Ministry of Irrigation, delivered a presentation on "Water Resource Management: Theory and Practice in the Iraqi Reconstruction Project" to a packed audience at the Ukrainian Engineers' Society of NYC lecture series at the Ukrainian Institute of America on East 79th Street, New York.


As interim Minister in Iraq from April through August, 2003, Dr. Stakhiv was responsible for managing 18,000 employees, 11 State-owned companies and 5 State Commissions; this included responsibility for 10 major dams, 22 large barrages, 271 pumping stations; generation of 2,500 MW of hydropower; providing irrigation water for 9 million acres, and delivering water to all the larger municipalities in Iraq.


Dr. Stakhiv, in his informative and entertaining lecture with over 200 colorful slides, began with a lively treatise on ancient hydraulic systems in Iraq going back to the Iridu civilization in 5,000 BC, followed by a comprehensive overview of the vast water resource system in Iraq. He then detailed the chronology and planning efforts leading to his arrival in Iraq on April 25, his work with Ambassador Bremer, and the strategic initiatives to repair all hydraulic and irrigation resources in Iraq, as well as reconstruction of many looted office buildings in Baghdad and over 100 district offices, and emergency security for and replacement of pumps, generators and dam safety repairs, and all warehouses.

Other highlights included the 100,000-man Irrigation Jobs program and the fascinating restoration of the huge southern marshes. In his slides and diagrams, Dr. Stakhiv focused in particular on the intricate engineering challenges of the Marsh Restoration projects, together with the political and cultural complexities in working daily with the Marsh Arabs. Dr. Stakhiv further explained in detail how much of the $87 billion recently approved by Congress had been planned out early this year, well before his arrival in Iraq. The evening finished with informal and convivial discussions over food and drinks.


In addition to Iraq Dr. Stakhiv also has extensive international experience serving as senior advisor to the water Ministries of Bangladesh, Ukraine, Armenia, and the Aral Sea Basin countries, with over 30 years' experience in regional and river basin planning, reservoir operations studies, ecosystem restoration studies, climate change and climate variability studies; he has served as study manager for several large comprehensive river basin studies and metropolitan water supply studies, including Washington, DC and New York City, and currently co-directs a five-year $20M effort of the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence Study Board.

Dr. Stakhiv has a doctorate in water resources systems engineering from Johns Hopkins University, has authored over 100 published papers, and is a member of the Ukrainian Engineers' Society of America.

This was the first in a series of engineering & scientific lectures presented by the Ukrainian Engineers' Society of NYC during the 2003/2004 year.

To see more photos from the Lecture, click here. (Note: The pictures will appear in a new browser window)

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