By Hana Namrouqa – May 27,2018

AMMAN — The government has saved 120 million cubic metres (mcm) of fresh water over the past five years, following the launch of a “groundbreaking” national crackdown on water theft and violations, according to government officials.

Teams from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and security forces have stopped more than 36,661 violations on water mains and networks since the summer of 2013, when the national campaign kicked off, Minister of Water and Irrigation Ali Ghezawi said.

“The campaign is forcefully pressing ahead. It has full support from the prime minister and the Cabinet. We will not allow violations on water resources and networks…” Ghezawi stressed.

Under the ongoing campaign, which seeks to end all forms of violations on the water networks and resources, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation announced that it had sealed 1,022 illegal wells across the country, in cooperation with security forces.

Authorities have also seized and confiscated 54 drilling rigs, according to the ministry’s spokesperson Omar Salameh, who noted that protecting the King Abdullah Canal from violations is “a main pillar of the campaign”.

Salameh highlighted that violators illegally pump water from the canal or sabotage its safety infrastructure, which necessitates intensifying monitoring over the vital water source.

“By ending existing violations and stopping new ones over the past five years, the ministry and its partners have saved 80mcm of water supplied through networks, 30mcm of underground water by sealing illegal wells and 10mcm of the King Abdullah Canal’s water by removing illegal fixtures diverting its water,” Ghezawi underlined.

“I call upon the public to continue cooperating with us in our endeavour to protect Jordan’s water resources by reporting water violations and sabotage attempts. People are also encouraged to avoid wasting water that is expensive and precious,” Ghezawi underlined.