By Hana Namrouqa – Jul 05,2016

AMMAN — Construction is under way on nine water projects across the Kingdom amid a surge in demand for water, according to government officials.

The projects to address water disruptions and replace deteriorated networks are being implemented in Irbid, Jerash, Mafraq, Zarqa and Maan governorates at a cost of $1 million, said Water Minister Hazem Nasser.

“The water networks are witnessing an unprecedented pressure since the start of summer and the start of the fasting month of Ramadan. In addition, the return of expatriates is also causing demand for water to surge across the country,” Nasser said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

To address water disruptions, the ministry has signed several agreements with contractors earlier this week, according to its spokesperson, Omar Salameh, who said construction on the projects has begun.

Two projects are under way in Irbid, some 80km north of Amman, to extend main and tertiary water pipelines and also to improve supply, according to the ministry, which also said the water network in Asad Bin Furat neighbourhood in Jerash, 48km north of Amman, will be replaced.

Irbid has a population of around 1.77 million, while 237,059 people live in Jerash.

In Mafraq, 4-kilometre-long new water pipelines will be extended in two different areas to increase the amount of water supplied to subscribers, and pipelines will be built in two villages in Maan’s Shobak Municipality to improve water supply.

A total of 549,948 people live in Mafraq, and Maan has a population of 144,083 people, according to the 2015 population census.

Meanwhile, the ministry is establishing a 1.3km carrier in the Zarqa Governorate’s Duleil area to increase water shares, a 300-metre pipeline in Tareq area to cope with the increasing demand for water due to the urban expansion in the area and a 1.6km pipeline to improve water supply in Ruseifa.

The projects are funded by a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) grant.

In 2011, the GCC allocated $5 billion to finance development projects in Jordan between 2012 and 2016.

Some $425.4 million of the grant is designated for water and sanitation projects.