Monday, April 30, 2007



I hope you've been following the adventures of DWT Baghdad correspondent, Fred, doing his best to avoid mercenaries and Bush Regime screw-ups in the Greed Zone. (Earlier reports are here, and here, and here) I just got another e-mail from Fred this weekend that I'd like to share:
Benjamin Franklin noted [as did, more recently, Craig David] that we know the worth of water when the well runs dry. He might also have pointed out the value of anticipating such an event. I did not, and now I must pay. I am busier here than ever expected and thus let laundry needs go unanswered.
Too bad, I must now go to the PX to purchase socks and such with the hope that they have same in stock in my size. The PX is pathetic-- it has lots of stock available in CDs, televisions and the like, but essentials seem to be spasmodically stocked.
Water here at the Palace and the Hootches (the home away from home for expat Green Zone types) is delivered to holding tanks by truck, around 5,000 gallons at a time it appears. Given the hundreds (or is it thousands?) of people here, transporting water must be a big operation.
I wonder if the bowing up of a bridge across the Tigris has anything to do with the shortage. Baghdad was without electricity for some days because they couldn’t get fuel to the generators. Apparently after the bombing, a second bridge was made off limits to tanker trucks, and the tanker truck drivers refused to cross the alternative bridge because it was serving as a live target gallery for certain malcontents.

Damned those malcontents! There followed an e-mail from Halliburton's KBR division, an "All Hands Notice," declaring that as of April 28 the water status is amber. Amber is the third of 4 stages, just before red. Here's the KB definitions:
a.      Green: Water supply is adequate, no additional conservation efforts are necessary

b.     Yellow: Will usually be initiated when water services have been disrupted for 2 hours or more and the ETR is more than 12 hours

                                               i.      KBR will monitor and report water level every four hours.
                                                             ii.      KBR Fire Department:
                                                           1.      Maintain full water tank levels in emergency                     response vehicles
                                                           2.      Coordinate with city services for emergency water support if needed
                                                            iii.      DCMA will inform KBR to execute a Letter of Technical Direction allowing Task Order 130 to draw water from Task Order 139 supplies at FOB Prosperity ROWPU intermediate storage bladder
                                                           iv.      Stop watering grass and all landscaping
                                                             v.      Cease operation of the KBR car wash station
                                                           vi.      Discontinue Full Service Laundry washing, remain open for drop off and pick up only
                                                          vii.      Shut down self-service laundries
                                                        viii.      Cease water replenishment for palace swimming pool
c.     Amber: Will usually be initiated when water services have been disrupted for 6 hours or more and the ETR is more than 24 hours; execute the steps for phase Yellow, additionally;

                                               i.      Limit cleaning to sanitary purposes only; as long as we are using latrines they need to be cleaned.
                                                             ii.      KBR will draw water from the fire station storage tanks if necessary; discontinue water draw when storage tanks level falls to 50% (DO NOT DRAW DOWN BELOW 50%)
d.     Red: Will usually be initiated when water services have been disrupted for 6 hours or more and there is no reliable ETR

                                               i.      Implement LSA water hours from 0500-0900 and 1700-2100 daily

The implementation of the Amber alert includes shutting down the KBR car wash station, self-service laundries, full service laundry service and water replenishment for swimming pools. I just noticed that there's something worse than red: black. I guess that's when even Cheney realizes the jig is up-- though when Lieberman will pull his head out of his ass and smell the roses is anyone's guess.


"State Department employees in Iraq seldom leave the capital's heavily fortified Green Zone. Even there, rocket and mortar attacks are frequent, and the sound of gunfire is constant. Suicide bombers have penetrated the zone on rare occasions, most recently on April 12." And today's USAToday is reporting that American diplomats are returning from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder, "the same debilitating, stress-related symptoms that have afflicted many U.S. troops, prompting the State Department to order a mental health survey of 1,400 employees who have completed assignments there."

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