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Pumping from Disi at full capacity begins

By Hana Namrouqa - Jan 18,2014 - Last updated at Jan 18,2014

AMMAN — Pumping from the Disi Water Conveyance Project at its full capacity started on Friday, according to a senior government official.

Pumping from the Disi project at 105 million cubic metres (mcm) started on Friday morning after the project’s management carried out performance tests, Water Minister Hazem Nasser said.

Pumping at a capacity of 105mcm will continue for five days, before the project’s management increases pumping to 107mcm for three days, Nasser said, adding that pumping water at the project’s full capacity of 110mcm will later continue.

“Pumping from the Disi project at full capacity is a major milestone for the water sector. It will boost the country’s socio-economic growth as it will provide more water and longer pumping hours…,” Nasser said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

The Disi project was launched on July 10 last year, pumping 90mcm per year to Amman and other governorates. In early November, pumping was raised to 90 per cent.

The minister said that pumping at full capacity from the Disi project will improve water supply at areas that suffer from occasional water cuts or inadequate water pumping, highlighting that the project will cover the growing water needs for the capital, Zarqa, Mafraq, Irbid and Madaba governorates.

He noted that Jerash, Ajloun, Karak, Tafileh and Maan governorates will also benefit from the project at later stages when construction on water conveyors is completed.

“However, with all that the Disi project will pump, it will only cover 20-25 per cent of Jordan’s water needs,” Nasser highlighted.

Carried out on a build-operate-transfer, the project entailed the construction of a 325-kilometre pipeline to convey water from the ancient Disi aquifer in southern Jordan to the capital.

The water is being transferred to Amman via the pipeline, which passes through several water stations in Maan, Tafileh, Karak and Madaba.

Meanwhile, Nasser underscored that the ministry is in the process of exploring new water resources.

“The ministry’s technical teams are preparing studies for extracting 80-100mcm of deep underground water from an area lying between Shidiyeh and Hassa in the south of the country to supply the capital and the northern region with water,” the minister said.

The ministry first announced plans of the Shidiyeh-Hassa Water Conveyance System mid last year, when it said that the project entails extracting water from very deep wells, located in the south between the Shidiyeh, Hassa and Qatraneh areas.

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.

Nasser previously said that the wells are an extension of the ancient Disi aquifer’s strata, adding that the project can be completed within one year and will cost JD400 million.

Noting that the wells are 1,500-2,000 metres deep, the minister said a major part of the project’s infrastructure already exists, referring to an old water conveyor between Qatraneh, in the south, and Amman, which will be used for transferring water from the wells to the capital.

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