World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue

Welcome to WOSSAC

The Historical Context for Land Resource Surveys in Iraq

IraqThe catalogue lists almost 200 entries for Iraq which includes material which has only indirect natural resource interest such as a livestock sector reviews, some general agronomic documents, and a collection of topographic maps. An examination of the specific pedological items suggests a grouping of the documents into the following groups:

  • early items usually project reports which were completed during the 1950s;
  • items which relate directly to salinity issues in Iraq soils;
  • items which are representative of project surveys completed in mostly in the 1960s and 1970s;
  • several items which are also numbered as part of this series but are national in scope; and
  • a few topographic maps.

Soils and Salinity

Soil salinity concerns are especially relevant in Iraq and two publications deal with this issue directly (WOSSAC IDs 756 and 757) were published in 1963 and 1971, which address the Reclamation of Salt Affected Soils in Iraq, in general and in the later volume in the Province of Ramadi specifically. In 1974, there a seminar on this topic was held in Bagdad and this is recorded in recorded in the WOSSAC ID 1571.

Documents and Mapping related to Specific Irrigation Projects

The majority of the WOSSAC collection of documents relate to work carried out within or in advance of irrigation development by a UK consulting company-Hunting Technical Service-within various parts of Iraq. There are all project reports which often contain detailed soil information and are accompanied by maps. These include the following:

  • Preparation for irrigation work in the Lower Khalis project area. There are some 50 reports on this project including monthly reports, and design documents. Documents (WOSSAC ID 1491, 1492 and 1493), for example relates to the mapping of soils and drainage conditions in the Lower Khalis area.
  • In a similar way the collection holds a suite of documents which relate to feasibility work carried out for Kirkuk irrigation projects during the period from 1958 to 1962.
  • Other soils related work dated in the early 1960s for the Mandali, Badra and Jassan Projects are also held.
  • Mapping which relates to the Diyala and Middle Tigris Soil surveys.
  • Finally there are reports from the Greater Mussayib project.

Project Documentation: Livestock Reports

The WOSSAC collection holds livestock reports from a 1974 Iraq & Europe Review and a report on a livestock farm at Abu Tamar.

Material which is National in Scope

The most interesting document in this part of the WOSSAC collection is a Botanical Check List for the Plains of Central Iraq, dated 1958. In addition there is a Memorandum on Agricultural Development in Iraq, dated 1974.


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