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To limit the drain on Iraq's water distribution network the REs plan to make all three UK bases for peacekeeping operations self sufficient. Extraction from boreholes is relatively easy in Iraq with groundwater contained in a gravel layer lying 30m to 50m beneath the desert sand. The problem is that all groundwater is extremely saline. Ideally, drinkable water would contain a maximum of 1,000 total dissolved solids (tds). Normal seawater has 4,000 tds. Iraqi groundwater has 11,000 tds.