BAGHDAD - The National Chemical Plastic Industry water treatment facility held an essential services conference with civic leaders of the surrounding mahalas, a member of the Baghdad Provincial Council, a Karada District Council member and a representative of the Baghdad Water Authority in Zafaranya on Jan. 18 to acknowledge their successful cooperation.

The purpose of the conference was to show the progress of the renovation and inform local leaders of the benefits that the facility, initially funded by U.S. forces, will bring to the surrounding area through increased drinking water and support to local businesses.

"This project - by hiring workers, maintaining and rehabilitating this water facility - takes water from Tigris River, south of Zafaranya, and supplies it to the Al Rabee area, in Mahala 961," said Mohammed Al-Rubeiy, chairman of planning commission strategy in the Baghdad Provincial Council. "There are future plans and future projects for combined work between our council and the coalition forces. Today, we are here to oversee the progress in this project."

When the facility is working at full capacity, it will carry 500 cubic meters of water per hour. It will provide 300 cubic meters of water service to 16 businesses within the Zafaranya industrial area and 200 cubic meters to residents in surrounding communities. The plan is to increase the availability to more businesses and local people in the future.

"We (the water treatment facility contractor and U.S. forces) have been working together for the last few months to repair and refurbish the entire water treatment plant in order to produce water capacity for southwest Zafaranya," said Capt. Joseph Ortiz, fire support officer for 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Battalion Combat Team. "(This project is) allowing Iraqi leadership to deal with public works for new developments and future plans and to continue operations with one another."

The water treatment plant, when complete, is expected to have two major impacts: on citizens of southwest Zafaranya and on the industry complex in the surrounding area.

The project is 78 percent complete. It is scheduled to be finished in the next 30 days.