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News Release Archive

USACE Awards Contract to Improve Dahla Dam in Southern Afghanistan

Published Feb. 28, 2013
WINCHESTER, Va. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Middle East District awarded a task order contract on Feb. 26 for the Dahla Dam Improvement Project, Phase I, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. The contract was awarded to Bryan 77 Construction Joint Venture of Colorado Springs, Colo., for $57 million.

This critical infrastructure project calls for the repair and replacement of water control features to reduce water loss due to leakage and to improve operational reliability and safety at the dam. The work includes rehabilitating the existing intake structure and replacing its components. The performance period is two years.

Additionally, this project will instill in the Afghan people the good will and continued support of the United States toward Afghanistan as U.S. forces transition regional security over to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Dahla Dam, located on the Arghandab River in Kandahar province approximately 21 miles northeast of Kandahar City, was constructed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in the 1950s. The dam provides irrigation water through the Arghandab Valley – once known as the breadbasket of Afghanistan – where agriculture is the primary industry. Most of the flow for the Arghandab River comes from melting snow in the Hindu Kush Mountains west of Kabul. The water is collected in the Dahla reservoir from February through April and stored for irrigation for the rest of the year.

Because the dam has suffered from decades of neglect and war, its intake and outlet works do not operate correctly, and sediment has reduced reservoir capacity by 30 percent.

“In short, this project facilitates the collection of snow melt and rain, eliminates flooding in the spring, and allows the water to be used for crops,” said Deborah Duncan, Deputy for Programs and Project Management, Middle East District. “This project will benefit the livelihood of Afghan people and contribute to stability.”

The Dahla Dam Improvement Project, Phase I, results from the collaboration of multiple agencies from Afghanistan and the United States to increase water supply in the Arghandab Valley. The improvement project supports the collaborative efforts to provide governance and a secure environment for sustainable stability for Afghan people.

“This key Afghanistan Infrastructure project will promote economic stability in the area by providing the area with better water control for irrigation,” said Col. Jon Christensen, commander, Middle East District. “Additionally, it will go a long way in ensuring the Afghans have a safe and reliable structure for their future use. We look forward to partnering with the Afghans in the execution of this important project.”

The project falls under the Afghan Infrastructure Program, an authority and appropriation granted by Congress in Fiscal Year 2012 in the National Defense Authorization Act.

At the request of the Afghanistan Engineer District-South and to streamline the contracting process, the Middle East District awarded this contract using a set of Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (MATOCs) already in place.

Middle East District competes and awards task orders under the MATOCs awarded June 16, 2011, to 14 firms. The firms may be called upon to support design-build and construction projects throughout the 20 countries of U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility, which is defined as including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen. More information on the CENTCOM MATOCs can be found at

The Middle East District provides engineering, construction and related services in the Middle East, Central Asia and other areas. Its work includes designing and constructing facilities for use by U.S. forces, performing engineering activities for other U.S. government and foreign agencies, and providing operations and maintenance services for various customers. In addition, the District provides project management, engineering, contracting and support services to USACE districts in Afghanistan.
Joan Kibler

Release no. 13-003