By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – A total of 15 million cubic metres (mcm) of treated wastewater will be pumped into the King Abdullah Dam annually as of 2014, under the first phase of a multimillion-dinar project.

The project, which will generate an additional 20mcm by the year 2020, seeks to provide farmers in the Jordan Valley with sufficient irrigation water and limit the use of fresh water for agricultural purposes, Ministry of Water and Irrigation officials said on Monday.

Under an agreement, signed yesterday between the ministry and Germany-based GITEC Consult Company and Consulting Engineering Centre, additional wastewater treatment units will be established in Irbid’s three wastewater treatments plants to upgrade the quality of the discharged water.

The JD26-million project, 80 per cent of which is funded by a loan from the German Development Bank (KfW) and 20 per cent by the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ), also entails constructing a 20-kilometre water conveyor from the treatment plants to Northern Ghor, Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Najjar said yesterday during the signing ceremony.

In addition, it entails the establishment of a 115,000 cubic metre reservoir, a plant for mixing treated wastewater and rainwater, a pumping station and a power generation plant, which will be connected to the National Electric Power Company.

“The discharged wastewater will be in accordance with international standards and only be used for the irrigation of selected crops in the Northern Ghor,” Consulting Engineering Centre Managing Director Izzat Sajdi told reporters yesterday.

Also on Monday, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation signed an agreement with Engicon O&M, an international engineering services firm, to carry out maintenance on water networks in Madaba Governorate to reduce water loss.

“Current water loss in Madaba ranges between 38 and 39 per cent. Our plan is to gradually cut it down to 20-25 per cent, but within a year it is expected to drop to 32 per cent,” Engicon O&M representative, Marwan Zreiqat, told The Jordan Times yesterday.

Bassem Tulfah, director of the ministry’s planning and management unit, noted that 40 per cent of revenue generated from water saved under the project will go to the company and the remainder to WAJ.