By Hana Namrouqa – Mar 05,2016
Photo released by the Water Ministry show areas in Um Al Amad alongside the airport road, where authorities removed illegal fixtures that were diverting 8,000 cubic metres of water every day from an 800-millimetre conveyor (Photo courtesy of Water Ministry)

AMMAN — Authorities late last week removed 11 illegal fixtures that were monthly diverting 250,000 cubic metres from a main carrier that supplies south Amman with water, an official said on Saturday.

Based on field surveys, remote sensing data and complaints from south Amman residents about dropping water supply, the ministry and security forces raided late last week locations in Um Al Amad area alongside the airport road, the official said.

“The illegal fixtures were diverting 8,000 cubic metres of water every day from an 800-millimetre conveyor,” the official at the Water Ministry told The Jordan Times on condition of anonymity.

“Plastic pipes were diverting the water to distant farms, where the water was being collected in ponds for the irrigation of hundreds of dunums and for selling water to people via tankers,” he noted.

The official noted that violators were referred for legal action and will be fined.

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation launched in 2013 a national campaign to end all violations on water networks and resources. Around 110 million cubic metres (mcm) of water have been saved since the campaign was launched.

Sealing illegal wells and stopping attempts to dig new ones across the country have resulted in saving 80mcm of underground water over the past three years, while ending violations on water networks and resources has succeeded in saving 30mcm of freshwater that was being diverted from main carriers, according to recent figures from the ministry.

Since the launch of the campaign, the ministry has dismantled 21,037 illegal fixtures on water mains and resources, sealed 722 illegal wells and seized and confiscated 39 drilling rigs, according to official figures.

The ministry said it is paying hundreds of thousands of dinars every month to implement the ongoing campaign, as it entails the deployment of technical teams, new technologies and heavy machinery to remove violations, while the Jordan Valley Authority is spending JD500,000 every year to replace and install new fences, security systems and warning signs on King Abdullah Canal and the dams, the ministry said recently.
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