by Hana Namrouqa | May 07, 2014

AMMAN — An inspection team on Wednesday discovered two violations on water mains in Jiza in south Amman, according to a Water Ministry official.

The two violations entailed installing illegal pipes to divert thousands of cubic metres of freshwater for the irrigation of crops, the official said on Wednesday.

A joint team from the Water Ministry, the Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna), the Gendarmerie and the Public Security Department inspected the site during a campaign targeting Jiza District to remove violations on the water network and resources, noted the official, who preferred to remain unnamed.

“The first violation entailed the installation of an illegal pipe on a water main that was diverting water to a group of greenhouses located in Jiza,” he told The Jordan Times.

Meanwhile, the second pipe was transferring thousands of cubic metres of water to a number of farms in Um Rummaneh in Jiza, according to the official.

He said the offenders were referred to court.

The government recently announced that it was committed to putting an end to all water violations, describing water theft as a form of corruption. To this end, the government drafted new amendments to the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ) Law.

Last month, the Lower House endorsed the draft amendments to the law, which grants WAJ and its employees the authority to enforce the law when they detect any water violations without the need to seek police support.

Also under the amendments, WAJ can confiscate any machinery and equipment used by violators to dig illegal water wells. The measure is part of the government’s crackdown on water violations.

Under Article 30 of the current version of the Water Authority of Jordan Law, violators are fined up to JD5,000 and jailed for two years, while Article 456 of the Penal Code stipulates that violators of water networks face three- to six-month prison terms and fines ranging between JD100 and JD1,000.