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Four violations on water resources discovered in Muwaqqar

By Hana Namrouqa - Oct 29,2014 - Last updated at Oct 29,2014

AMMAN — Authorities ended four major violations on water resources this week, under which over 3,000 cubic metres were being stolen per day, according to an official at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.

The four violations were recorded in Muwaqqar, south of Amman, the source said, adding that the ministry was tipped off about the breaches on one of the area’s main pipelines by a local resident.

“A team from the ministry, the Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna), the Gendarmerie and the Royal Badia Forces headed to the site to inspect the violations and identify the perpetrators,” the source told The Jordan Times on Wednesday on condition of anonymity.

Some 125 cubic metres of water were being pumped on an hourly basis “for a long time” the source said, noting that the perpetrators installed several illegal fixtures on the 800-millimetre pipeline and extended the pipes through a culvert built under a main street.

“One of the illegal fixtures was pumping water to a house where tankers were filled with the stolen water which was then sold to people.”

Technical teams from the ministry and Miyahuna — along with security reinforcements — removed the illegal pipes and fixed the carrier, and the violators were referred for legal action, the source said, adding that “the amount of water stolen will be estimated and the violators will pay for every metre of it.”

The ministry said it is continuing with its “serious crackdown” on all forms of violations on water resources and systems. The campaign was launched in August 2013 to end violations on water networks and seal all illegal wells.

Since the onset of the campaign, the authorities have dismantled almost 11,000 pipes that were diverting tens of thousands of cubic metres illegally every day, sealed around 400 wells in different parts of the Kingdom and seized and confiscated scores of drilling rigs.

Under new amendments introduced to the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ) Law, those who abuse water carriers and mains, wastewater, pumping, purification or desalination stations, or cause the pollution of water resources, pipes or stations used for drinking water, or are involved in the digging of wells without obtaining a licence, will be jailed for up to five years and fined up to JD7,000. 

In addition, violators of WAJ water and wastewater projects will be jailed for up to three years and fined up to JD5,000.

All penalties stipulated under the new law will be doubled in the case of repeat offenders, according to the ministry, which said that Article 31 of the legislation classifies water conveyance schemes and pipes as “strategic, vital projects”.

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