By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – The northern governorates’ water woes will be solved in the next 10 days with the pumping of an additional 400 cubic metres of water per hour to the area, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation said on Tuesday.

Pumping from the Mashtal Feisal water wells in Jerash Governorate is expected to begin on Friday, supplying an additional 300 cubic metres of water per hour to the northern region, Adnan Zu’bi, Ministry of Water and Irrigation assistant secretary general and spokesperson, said yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Samad Water Pumping Station is slated to start pumping an additional 100 cubic metres per hour within 10 days after the installation of a new pump that raised the station’s capacity to 350 cubic metres per hour, he highlighted.

“With the operation of the Mashtal Feisal wells and the Samad Pumping Station, the water shortage in Jerash and Ajloun will be solved,” Zu’bi told The Jordan Times over the phone yesterday, noting that Jerash currently receives 550 cubic metres per hour.

The northern governorates, particularly Jerash, are the most water-deprived areas in Jordan due to limited water resources. Recurring power cuts over the past month due to record high temperatures caused water pumps to shut down, disrupting the water distribution programme and leaving hundreds of households without water for weeks.

“Households which did not receive water during the distribution programme have been provided with water from tankers,” Zu’bi noted.

There are around 250,000 water subscribers in the northern governorates, according to ministry figures, which indicate that water per capita in Jerash stands at 75 litres per day, well below the national average of 130 litres per day.

Faced with an “unprecedented water shortage” in the northern governorates, last month the ministry launched a call centre to receive water-related complaints.

The ministry also authorised directors of water departments across the country to address water problems locally without having to refer first to the minister or secretary general.

In addition, water officials coordinated with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to direct electricity companies to avoid cutting electricity to areas where the ministry operates water pumping stations.