By JT – Aug 08,2016

AMMAN — The Water Ministry said on Monday that its teams have dismantled illegal fixtures used to steal water in Qastal and Saru, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The ministry received information that suspects had illegally installed pipelines to siphon water from the main carrier lines to irrigate farms and supply pools. In Qastal, some 30km south of Amman, a 300-metre illegal plastic pipeline was detected, while in Saru, in Salt, a pipe had been broken to allow water to flow to areas used for livestock.

Authorities fixed the pipe in Saru, where they also removed a 600-metre illegal pipe used to siphon water to irrigate a farm. The suspected violator was referred to court.

The ministry cooperated with the Jordan Water Company and security agencies to curb the violations.

The ministry stressed that it will continue to conduct inspection campaigns to detect any violations.

It urged the public to continue cooperating with the authorities by reporting any violations against the water networks.

Water theft is recognised as an economic crime under articles 3 and 4 of the Economic Crimes Law.

The amended Water Authority of Jordan Law stipulates stiffer penalties against those who abuse any element of the water system.

Those who abuse water carriers and mains, wastewater, pumping, purification or desalination stations; or cause the pollution of water resources, pipes or stations used for drinking water; and dig or are involved in the digging of wells without obtaining a licence, will be jailed for up to five years and fined up to JD7,000.

In addition, violators of water and wastewater projects will be jailed for up to three years and fined up to JD5,000, according to the new amendments.

All penalties stipulated under the new law are doubled in the case of repeat offences.

Under the ongoing campaign against water violations, which was launched in 2013, authorities have ended around 23,000 violations on water mains and resources, and also sealed 758 illegal wells in cooperation with security forces.

Water theft in Jordan is blamed for 70 per cent of water loss, according to the ministry, which indicated that around 110 million cubic metres of water have been saved since authorities launched the campaign.