Jan 24,20190

AMMAN — The Wadi Al Arab Water Conveyance Project must be ready before the end of the year, to be at least partially operational, in order to begin pumping additional supplies of drinkable water to the northern region, Minister of Water and Irrigation Raed Abul Saud underlined on Thursday.

Notably, the facility will supply the northern governorates with some 30 million cubic metres of water annually, and is nearly finished, according to the statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The project is in it is final stages, Abul Saud said during a visit to the site of the facility, in a follow-up tour on ministry projects around the northern region.

Around 55,000sq.m. of the 60,000sq.m. facility area is laid in concrete and ready for the next stage of implementation, Petra reported.

Construction works for the project began in December 2016.

It is aims to supply the northern governorates of Irbid, Ajloun, Jerash and Mafraq with additional drinkable water supplies to address recurrent and acute shortages in the areas most affected by the influx of Syrian refugees.

A ministry statement at the time said demand on water increased by nearly 40 per cent.

The overall costs of the project stand at some $110 million, the statement said, financed by loans from the European Investment Bank and the French Development Agency, in addition to a grant from the EU.

The facility will pump water from the King Abdullah Canal and the Wihdeh Dam to the northern governorates.

A water intake facility will be constructed at the King Abdullah Canal in Al Manshiyeh, north of the Jordan Valley, in addition to a water treatment plant and a 25km long main carrier to transfer water from the treatment plant to the 110,000-cubic-metre Zabda reservoir in Irbid, as well as three pumping stations.

“It is a vital, strategic project which will improve water supply,” Abul Saud said in the statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

The project will cover the water needs of the northern governorates until the year 2028, and is one of the mega projects designed under the ministry’s water supply strategy for the northern governorates, launched in December 2015.

The strategy entails implementing eight projects, at a cost of $308 million, to provide Irbid, Jerash, Ajloun and Mafraq governorates with freshwater, in addition to rehabilitating water networks in Irbid, Jerash and Ajloun.