by Hana Namrouqa | Jan 12, 2013

AMMAN – Ninety million cubic metres (mcm) of water entered the country’s major dams over the past five days, boosting storage at the reservoirs to 45 per cent of their total capacity, according to official figures.

The major dams now hold 146.6mcm of their total capacity of 325 mcm, Jordan Valley Authority Secretary General Saad Abu Hammour said on Saturday.

“Water levels in the dams are excellent compared to previous years. The country hasn’t witnessed such heavy rainfall and snow for many years,” Abu Hammour told The Jordan Times.

During the same period last year, the dams held 59.58mcm, or 18.31 per cent, of their total capacity, he noted.

“The 8.18mcm Waleh Dam in Tafileh and the 1.4mcm Shuaib Dam in the south have overflowed, while the 29.82mcm Mujib Dam in Karak Governorate is nearly full,” Abu Hammour highlighted.

The heavy rain and snow also raised the flow of water in the Yarmouk and Jordan rivers, according to the official.

“In the Yarmouk River the flow is now 30 metres per second, which is excellent, compared to an average of 1.5-2 metres per second during dry days. The River Jordan water flow has also increased and it has flooded some farms,” he added.

Multiple depressions and cold air masses affected the country starting last Friday, but the strongest was a polar air mass that swept into the Kingdom on Tuesday night, bringing heavy rain and snow across most of the country.

The JVA noted that the rain not only raised dam storage but also recharged aquifers.

In addition, it saved the JVA from pumping around 500,000 cubic metres from the reservoirs for farmers in the Jordan Valley to irrigate their crops, according to Abu Hammour.

Meanwhile, the Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna) on Saturday said that pumping from several sources supplying the capital with its water needs remained suspended for the sixth day in a row as the heavy rain raised the turbidity levels of water.

“Pumping water from the Zara-Maeen Water Treatment Plant and the Ruseifa and Heidan wells among other resources, remains suspended,” a source at the company said.

The suspension affected the water distribution programme in Amman because these sources supply 40 per cent of the capital’s water needs.
Under the water distribution programme, households receive water once during a certain period, usually between 7-10 days on a rotating basis.
Scarce water resources in the country compelled the Kingdom to initiate the programme in the early 1980s to conserve limited resources whilst ensuring a sustainable supply of water.