By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – The Jordan Valley Authority (JVA) is currently examining the preparedness of the country’s major dams for storing rainwater as winter approaches, a government official said on Saturday.

A plan to carry out maintenance on the dams will be implemented after a committee studies the situation of the reservoirs and the work required for each, JVA Secretary General Saad Abu Hammour said yesterday.

“The teams have already started inspecting each dam to evaluate its storage status, identify stored water amounts, examine the site equipment and recommend renovation and maintenance if needed,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone yesterday.

After dams are renovated ahead of the wet season, the committee declares them ready for storing rainwater, Abu Hammour noted.

“Teams will also clear out dirt from the streams in the catchment area that supply the dams with water to ensure they are not polluted or blocked with soil,” he underscored.

The teams also remove sediment from the dams to increase their capacity and prevent water salinity, and also clean up their shorelines, according to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.

The first rainfall is usually witnessed in mid-September or early October, while the wet season usually continues until February, according to meteorologists.

The Kingdom relies mainly on rainwater, but only 1.1 per cent of its total area receives an average of 400-600 millimetres of rain, according to the ministry. Dams, though expensive to construct, are one of the main ways the country relies on to secure its water needs.

Approximately 91 per cent of Jordan’s total area of 97,000 square kilometres is situated in arid areas with an annual rainfall average of 50-200 millimetres, while 2.9 per cent of the country’s land is categorised as semi-arid.