Infringements lead to disruptions in distribution programme
by Hana Namrouqa | May 09,2012 | 22:41

AMMAN – More than 16 violations against water networks were recorded during the first quarter of this year, a government official said on Wednesday, warning that the practice is on the rise.

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation is suffering from recurring violations related to water resources across the country, which is disrupting the distribution programme, the ministry’s spokesperson and assistant secretary general, Adnan Zu’bi, said.

“Violations on water resources are rising every year; the ministry registered 18 cases in 2009, 52 in 2010 and 59 last year. During the first three months of this year, we recorded over 16 violations, which is a negative indicator,” Zu’bi said.

Theft of electricity cables and generators, as well as pumps, is a violation of people’s water rights, depriving them from their share, the official said, noting that disruptions in supply for one or two days means that some subscribers will miss their turn in the distribution programme.

Under the water distribution programme, households in Jordan receive water once during a set period, usually a week to 10 days, on a rotating basis. Scarce water resources in the country compelled the Kingdom to initiate the programme in the early 1980s to ensure a sustainable water supply for subscribers.

“If violations on water resources continue, the distribution programme during summer will be disrupted. Resuming operation of a water resource that has been robbed of its equipment takes two to three weeks,” Zu’bi said.

Households that miss their turn in the distribution programme, are forced to purchase water from tanks which can be costly, he noted.

“In addition, the Water Authority of Jordan and water companies incur losses due to the theft of equipment. For instance, violations last year cost us more than JD350,000,” Zu’bi underscored.

He highlighted that the ministry, in cooperation with the Rangers, carries out regular and unannounced inspection visits to water resources across the Kingdom to prevent violations.

“Perpetrators are jailed for two years and fined in accordance with the Penal Code,” Zu’bi noted.

The ministry called on the public to cooperate in protecting water resources, by reporting t any infringements.