Jul 08, 2013 | 23:08

Laboratory tests conducted by the government have confirmed that the water pumped from the ancient Disi aquifer, in the south of the country, to Amman is safe after being mixed with freshwater from other sources.

In 2009, the Disi water was found to have a high level of natural radioactive particles, but when mixed with other water, it becomes safe even to drink, conforming with the World Health Organisation standards.

Water pumped from aquifers anywhere does have some degree of radioactive particles, but in the case of the Disi aquifer, the percentage is rather high due to the fact that it is ancient and has been untapped for centuries.

Without the Disi water, Amman in particular would not be able to meet the minimum demand for this precious commodity.

At huge expense, a 340-kilometre pipeline was constructed to provide Amman and its environs with some 110 million cubic metres of water annually, a much needed quantity for this city constantly growing.

Now authorities need to ensure that this important source of water is constantly monitored and that when it is mixed with other sources of water, its high level of radioactive particles does indeed decrease to safe levels.

The public has to be constantly reassured that the new source of water being pumped into the main water system in Amman remains under constant surveillance. One way to do so is by issuing credible weekly reports.

Jordan is in great need of water, no doubt, but it should never consider solving the water shortage problem by creating a more serious health hazard.

Too many cases of cancer are already detected in the country. Another “agent” to compound the problem should never be accepted.