Sep 30,2017

AMMAN — Authorities stopped more than 5,000 alleged violations on water mains and networks since January, government officials said on Saturday, indicating that court rulings on 22 water-related cases were also issued.

Under an ongoing campaign to end all forms of violations on the water networks and resources, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation announced that it sealed 81 illegal wells across the country this year, in cooperation with security forces.

Also during this year, authorities put an end to 222 violations on state lands in the Jordan Valley and recorded 3,007 violations on the King Abdullah Canal, with violators illegally pumping water from the canal or sabotaging its safety infrastructure, the ministry said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

Minister of Water and Irrigation, Hazim El Naser, said in the statement that the national campaign against violations on the water resources that the ministry launched in the summer of 2013 is urging all government agencies to cooperate in enhancing control over water sources.

“The campaign is ongoing and has immensely protected surface and ground water resources from depletion and has also limited the illegal digging of wells,” El Naser said in the statement.

The minister noted that major court rulings were issued this year against offenders, highlighting that the court rulings entailed imprisonment, hefty fines and confiscation of tools and vehicles used in the illegal activities.

Meanwhile, ministry’s spokesperson Omar Salameh indicated that since the start of the campaign, the ministry and its partners sealed 939 illegal wells, removed 33,533 violations on water networks and resources and seized and confiscated 54 drilling rigs.

The campaign also resulted in removing 1,852 violations on treasury lands in the Jordan Valley and in ending 14,145 violations on the 110-kilometre King Abdullah Canal. The canal, which is supplied by the Yarmouk river, irrigates 40 per cent of the crops in the Jordan Valley and provides around 40 per cent of the capital’s water after being treated at the Zai Water Treatment Plant, according to Salameh.