Amman, Zarqa to be ‘greatly affected’ by pumping suspension

By Hana Namrouqa – Jul 04,2019

AMMAN — Pumping from the Disi Water Conveyance Project, one of the Kingdom’s strategic water resources, was partially suspended on Wednesday after a group of unknown vandals sabotaged a facility that stores water from the project’s wells in Mudawarrah, Maan Governorate.

The operational switchboards were stolen, while the rest of the facility was sabotaged and set on fire, a government official at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation said on Wednesday.

“This act of deliberate sabotage, the reasons for which are unknown, will cause the amount of water pumped from the project’s wells to drop by 11 per cent,” the official, who preferred to remain unnamed, told The Jordan Times over the phone.

The Disi Water Company (DIWACO) reported the act of sabotage to the ministry, which said in a press release that security authorities are investigating the incident and “will show no tolerance to those responsible for this grave violation on one of Jordan’s main and strategic water resources”.

The ministry official said that a major disruption in the water distribution programme will ensue after the project’s pumping capacity dropped from 112 million cubic metres to 100 million cubic metres.

“Amman and Zarqa altogether will be greatly affected by this partial suspension of pumping… In addition, the northern governorates will also be affected, as they receive water from the Disi project via the national carrier,” the official said.

The Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna) has 600,000 subscribers in Amman and 150,000 subscribers in Zarqa.

Carried out on a build-operate-transfer basis by the Turkish company GAMA, a 325-kilometre pipeline was constructed to convey water from the ancient Disi aquifer in southern Jordan to Amman.

The project was launched in 2013 and the water now flows to Amman via a pipeline, which passes through several water stations on its way through Maan, Tafileh, Karak, Madaba and finally to Amman, from where it is then pumped further north via the national carrier.

The ministry official said that technical teams from DIWACO, a subsidiary of GAMA Energy, have begun work at the facility to resume pumping, but did not specify how long it would take for the reservoir’s facility to be repaired and regular pumping resumed.

The Disi project witnessed several security-related incidents during its construction, which began in 2009, and this is not the first incident to afflict the project in Mudawarrah, near the Jordanian-Saudi border.

In November 2011, work on a major part of the Disi project was suspended for over a month due to security concerns and recurring armed attacks targeting workers.