By Hana Namrouqa – Jul 21,2017

AMMAN — By the end of 2019, the Kingdom’s 500 water resources and facilities will be monitored by cameras and control systems to safeguard the water infrastructure from violations and sabotage, according to a government official.

The plan is part of an ongoing effort to monitor the country’s strategic water resources around-the-clock in order to detect malfunctions and violations, an official at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation said, indicating that some 120 strategic water resources are currently subject to continuous security monitoring.

The ministry will start installing a “comprehensive technical and security surveillance system” on the King Abdullah Canal, as well as three main dams, within a month, the official added.

The water resources and facilities, including dams, wells, pumping stations and reservoirs, are now being connected via cameras and control systems to a recently established centre at the ministry, in order to monitor and remotely control the operations of the water resources.

“In light of the current regional instability, linking water resources and facilities which are situated at the Kingdom’s borders with Syria and Iraq is our top priority, in order to protect them from individual or collective acts of sabotage, such as pollution or explosions,” the official, who preferred to remain unnamed, told The Jordan Times.

The centre’s employees monitor screens transmitting live streaming of the water resources, which are already linked to the centre, the official said, noting that they contact security authorities to send patrols to water resources when suspicious movement is noticed.

The centre uses screens to monitor the strategic water locations categorised according to the National Policies Council’s standards for water resources, using an early warning system. The ministry also indicated that, over the next three years, more highly trained employees will be assigned to monitor all of the water locations.

The centre is connected to the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management and the Public Security Department to provide technical data around-the-clock.

Prime Minister Hani Mulki inaugurated the centre late last month and launched a unified phone number for water complaints (117116).

The monitoring centre also observes the quality and quantity of water resources, and any detected technical error is resolved through its systems, according to the official, who indicated that scores of violations on the water networks and resources have already been detected via the centre.