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Ministry ends large-scale water theft in Jordan Valley – Jordan Times

Hotels used to buy stolen water at cheaper prices before illicit operation was interrupted

By Omar Obeidat – Sep 01,2016

AMMAN – Hotels at the Dead Sea area used to buy stolen water from a private company at half the price of that supplied by authorities, Minister of Water and Irrigation Hazem Nasser said on Thursday.

The minister told The Jordan Times over the phone that some hotels bought freshwater for nearly a year at JD0.70 per cubic metre from a company that used to steal water from a main in the Jordan Valley, while the actual price charged by water authorities is JD1.35 a metre.

On Wednesday, the Water Ministry said it dismantled a large-scale water theft operation near the Dead Sea that was diverting and reselling thousands of cubic metres of freshwater per day to hotels there.

The violation, carried out by an investment company, included the installation of illegal fixtures to collect and treat water before selling it to hotels in the area.
The company had been collecting water in three pools with a capacity of 3,000 cubic metres each, the ministry added, noting that it has also removed another illegal fixture that diverted 6,000 cubic metres of water daily from a main near Wadi Mukheiris.

The dismantlement of the violation was made after a court ruling.

Nasser said the violating company may pay compensations to the Jordan Water Authority worth JD1 million.

According to informed sources, the company is owned by a former lawmaker who is also running for the upcoming parliamentary elections, slated for September 20.

The sources, which requested anonymity, told The Jordan Times that other water theft operations carried out by influential tribal leaders were referred to courts.

Water theft is recognised as an economic crime under articles 3 and 4 of the Economic Crime Law. Currently, courts are looking into more than 1,000 cases of violations involving water resources and networks, according to the ministry.
The amended Water Authority of Jordan Law stipulates stiffer penalties against those who abuse any element of the water system.
Those who exploit water carriers and mains, wastewater, pumping, purification or desalination stations; or cause the pollution of water resources, pipes or stations used for drinking water; and dig or are involved in the digging of wells without obtaining a licence, will be jailed for up to five years and fined up to JD7,000.
In addition, violators of water and wastewater projects will be jailed for up to three years and fined up to JD5,000, according to the new amendments.
All penalties stipulated under the new law are doubled in the case of repeat offences.
Under the ongoing campaign against water violations, which was launched in 2013, authorities have ended over 23,000 cases of water abuses involving mains and resources and also sealed 758 illegal wells in cooperation with security forces.
Water theft in Jordan is blamed for 70 per cent of water loss, according to the ministry, which indicated that around 110 million cubic metres of water have been saved since authorities launched the campaign.

http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/ministry-ends-large-scale-water-theft-jordan-valley
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Water Ministry uncovers water theft operation near Dead Sea

By JT – Aug 31,2016

AMMAN — The Water Ministry on Wednesday said it has uncovered violations in the Jordan Valley, near the Dead Sea, in land owned by the Investment Commission, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The violation, carried out by an investment company, included the installation of illegal fixtures to collect and treat water before selling it to hotels at the Dead Sea.

The company had been collecting water in three pools with a capacity of 3,000 cubic metres each, the ministry added, noting that it has also removed another illegal fixture that diverted 6,000 cubic metres of water daily from a main near Wadi Mukheiris.

http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/water-ministry-uncovers-water-theft-operation-near-dead-sea

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