News: Water bottling plant opens, begins production in southern Iraq
Story by Sgt. Crystal Reidy
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq — Leaders from the 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and the Oasis International Waters Inc., opened a water bottling and purification plant during a ribbon cutting ceremony here June 1.
With six Oasis water bottling plants operational in Iraq, the 3rd ESC managed and coordinated the repositioning of the plant from Camp Taqqadum, one of many coalition bases scheduled for return to the government of Iraq.
"Now that we are at a draw down period of forces, we looked at what was really needed," said Col. Cheri A. Provancha, 3rd ESC support operation officer in charge. "The decision was made to cancel the request for a seventh plant and relocate an existing plant."
"There was a lot of cost savings that came out of this effort and we are able to get water in the right place on the battlefield," she said. "This is definitely, one, in the win column for the U.S. Army."
"It's a very noble and honored position to be able to provide water to the troops," said Larry M. Delk, the Oasis International Waters Inc., bottled water plant manager and supervisor of the TQ move.
The 3rd ESC and 287th Sustainment Brigade logistical project was a success, the plant will provide bottled water to coalition forces based in southern Iraq.
"The 287th [Sust. Bde.] did a tremendous job," said Maj. Stephanie J. Requa, 3rd ESC class I (subsistence) officer in charge, a resident of Erie, Colo. "This plant is operational on the day it was supposed to open. There were no delays."
As the drawdown in Iraq continues, coalition leaders continue to explore options to maintaining the plant and eventually benefit Iraqis in the future, she said.
"There is intent to hire local nationals and train them," Requa said. "Iraqis will be hired to work at the plant and their income will help [sustain] the local Iraqi economy."
Since 2005, the Oasis International Waters Inc. water bottling plant across Iraq produced approximately 32 million cases of bottled water per year for coalition forces.
The following bases in Iraq have plants operated by Oasis International Waters Inc. and provide water to coalition forces: Victory Camp, Joint Base Balad, Al Asad airbase, Contingency Operating Base Speicher, COB Q-West and now COB Adder.