JVA to take stricter measures over summer to preserve and sustain water stored at dams

By Hana Namrouqa – May 19,2017

AMMAN — As the wet season has ended with “discouraging” storage of water at dams, farmers in the Jordan Valley are expected to receive reduced water for irrigation, according to a government official.

Storage at dams is much less compared to previous years, as rains began later and the overall performance of the wet season was “weak”, Jordan Valley Authority (JVA) Secretary General Saad Abu Hammour said.

“The dams now hold 43 per cent of the total capacity of 333 million cubic metres [mcm]. The amount is much less than what they held around this time last year,” Abu Hammour told The Jordan Times.

The Kingdom’s major dams held around 60 per cent of their total capacity this time last year, while in 2015, storage at the dams had reached the highest percentage recorded in a decade, when they held 65.6 per cent by the end of the wet season.

The JVA will be taking stricter measures this summer to preserve and sustain the water stored at the dams for the rest of the summer, Abu Hammour said.

“First and foremost, we will carry out even stricter monitoring of the Jordan Valley’s water resources to prevent illegal use of water and reduce water loss in irrigation networks,” he stated.

The JVA will have to resort to rationing the distributed irrigation water to farmers, Abu Hammour said, particularly to farmers in the northern part of the Jordan Valley.

“We will give main cultivations of vegetables most of their water needs in the central and southern parts of the Jordan Valley, but farmers in the north will not be given the full demand of irrigation water because they have fresh water resources in their area that they use for watering their crops,” Abu Hammour highlighted.

He expected the irrigation water needs for the Jordan Valley cultivations to reach 200mcm this summer.