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New tunnels to relieve Doha desert flooding

Two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are about to be launched in Qatar in a bid to prevent the city of Doha from flooding during heavy rain storms.

Main contractor Impregilo will use the Herrenknecht earth pressure balance TBMs to drive the 4.47m diameter tunnels through limestone at 20 to 30m below ground.

Although Doha only receives 100mm of rainfall per year the intensity of rainfall can lead to widespread flooding and a new 9.5km tunnel is the main part of a new drainage system covering 170km² that will protect the southern part of the city.

The main tunnel will carry up to 16.5m3 of water per second to a central pumping station near the New Doha International Airport once it is completed in 2016.

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