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'Nationwide water linking project completed'

By Hana Namrouqa - Jul 10,2017 - Last updated at Jul 10,2017

AMMAN — Under the National Water Carrier project, the linking of water projects across the Kingdom has been completed, Minister of Water and Irrigation Hazem Nasser announced on Sunday.

The strategic project seeks to connect water projects in the south of the Kingdom to projects in the central and northern regions, in order to better supply water-distressed areas, especially in the north, via an expansive network of 600 kilometres of pipelines, Nasser said.

The national carrier consists of water systems in the south and centre of the country, Nasser said, noting that its construction has now been completed.

"We have successfully tested the project and are now able to transfer water between governorates," Nasser told reporters during a press meeting.

The national carrier is one of the 10 projects listed under the ministry’s water supply strategy for the northern governorates, launched in December 2015.

The strategy entails implementing projects worth $308 million to provide Irbid, Jerash, Ajloun and Mafraq governorates with freshwater, in addition to renovating water networks in Irbid, Jerash and Ajloun.

The northern governorates suffer from an acute water shortage caused by limited resources, violations against main water lines and deteriorating networks, while the water situation has worsened due to the arrival of Syrian refugees, according to ministry officials.

"With the completion of the national carrier project, the per capita share of water in the north will increase," Nasser said.

He noted that the ministry is also working on another “mega project”, the Amman-Shidiyeh-Hassa Water Conveyance Project, which aims to extract water from deep wells located in the south, between the Shidiyeh, Hassa and Qatraneh areas.
“The project's blueprints are almost finished and work is now under way on the environmental impact assessment," Nasser said, noting that water will be sourced from 45 deep wells.

Under the project's first phase, water will be generated from 10 wells at depths reaching 1,500 metres, according to Nasser, who said that a grant of $20 million has been secured to fund the project.

Shidiyeh and Hassa are located in Tafileh Governorate, some 180km southwest of Amman, while Qatraneh is located in Karak Governorate, 140km south of the capital.

Ministry officials expect the first phase’s tender to be floated this year, while the second phase’s tender should be floated in 2018.

The first phase will generate 20 million cubic metres (mcm) of water, while the second phase will generate 50mcm, according to the ministry, which added that the project seeks to supply the central region with water.

 

The total cost of the project’s two phases is estimated at $350 million.

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