Water storage in dams still insufficient to meet potable water demands

A general photo of Mujib Dam. (Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — Secretary-General of the Jordan Valley Authority Manar Mahasneh has said that the water levels stored in Jordan’s dams for drinking purposes are still “very low,” while the quantities channeled  for irrigation are almost comparable to the quantities recorded last year.اضافة اعلان

Mahasneh told Jordan News that the water reserves in Wihda and Mujib dams, which are used for drinking and household usage are “very meager,” noting that Mujib Dam has so far filled up with 800,000 cubic meters; less than last year’s water levels, whereas Wihda Dam has 14 million cubic meters, compared to 24 million cubic meters last year.

Mahasneh said that the “very feeble” storage in the two dams is the biggest challenge, adding that other sources of potable water are Mukheida wells in the north and Lake Tiberias which delivers water to Jordan under a deal with Israel.

Water expert Jawad Al-Bakri seconded Mahasneh’s view that the good rainfall season this year has not fully helped address the water shortage problem.  He explained that Wihda Dam’s low storage is blamed on the fact that the Syrian side has used up large quantities of water, while Mujib, in the south, also saw high consumption in the last couple of years, and 80–90 percent of its water evaporated.

Bakri said that Wihda Dam; a joint project between Jordan and Syria, has 70% of its area on the Syrian side, and rain that feeds it comes from both sides, adding that Wihda Dam has never filled up since its construction due to the fact that Syrians have built at least 24 water storage facilities that feed from the dam with the aim of enhancing water harvest across the northern border.  “As for Mujib, there are technical reasons, such as weak feeding resources that make the dam inefficient.”

Bakri said that the water deficit in Jordan amounts to 400 million cubic meters and the only solution in the short term is equitable distribution of water among users, as the authorities look into long-term solutions such as water desalination.

He urged rational consumption of water for irrigation through new technologies and raising water tariffs to align with increased consumption.

Read more National news