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Authorities remove illegal water connections from King Abdullah Canal

By Hana Namrouqa - Dec 30,2017 - Last updated at Dec 30,2017

Authorities removed scores of violations on the King Abdullah Canal over the past week (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation)

AMMAN — Authorities removed scores of violations on the King Abdullah Canal over the past week, thus ending the “daily theft” of thousands of cubic metres of water from one of the Kingdom’s main water resources, an official said on Saturday.

A technical team from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and the Water Authority of Jordan, accompanied by security forces, has been inspecting the canal to uncover illegal pipelines that divert water from the canal to private farms, the official at the ministry said.

“Over the past week, the team has removed all of the violations, which were illegal pipes and fixtures extracting the water of the canal to private properties for the irrigation of crops or selling the water via tankers,” the ministry’s official told The Jordan Times over the phone.

Thousands of cubic metres of water were being diverted to private properties, the official source said, noting that the violations were a major cause attributing to the dropping flow of the canal.

The 110-kilometre King Abdullah Canal is supplied by the Yarmouk River. It 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.

“Since 2013, when the ministry announced a crack down on water theft and violations, our teams have removed more than 15,905 on King Abdullah Canal. The violations entailed diverting the water of the canal and stealing the fence and safety installations,” the official said.

Also over the past four years, authorities put an end to over 1,916 violations on state lands in the Jordan Valley.

“A large bulk of the violations which the ministry is removing is uncovered with the help of people, who report to the ministry the violations they see on water networks and resources,” the official said.

 

The ministry’s campaign is ongoing, the official said, noting that it aims at enhancing control over water sources by protecting surface and ground water resources from depletion and also stopping the illegal digging of wells.

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