AMMAN — Rainfall over the past three days channelled around one million cubic metres (mcm) of water into the country’s dams, which currently hold 14.5 per cent of their total capacity, a government official said on Thursday.
The major dams, including the 110-mcm Wihdeh Dam, currently hold 42mcm of their total capacity of 327mcm, Jordan Valley Authority (JVA) Secretary General Saad Abu Hammour said.
“The rain has channelled around 950,000 cubic metres of water into the major dams,” Abu Hammour told The Jordan Times.
The country’s major dams held 64.4mcm or 19.8 of their total capacity during the same period last year, according to official figures.
Despite the heavy rain which the country witnessed between Tuesday and early Thursday, storage levels at the dams are still “below expectation”, because the authority pumps around 500,000 cubic metres daily for winter crops or “orweh tishrineyeh” in the Jordan Valley, 360,000 dunums of which are cultivated and irrigated.
Orweh tishrineyeh is a local agricultural term that refers to the period between September and the end of the year during which farmers plant vegetables in the Jordan Valley. Different kinds of vegetables are cultivated during this period including cucumber, tomato, eggplant and zucchini.
During orweh tishrineyeh, farmers also rely on rainwater for irrigating their crops; however, the JVA increases the amount of water allocated for irrigation when the rainfall comes late.
The Kingdom relies mainly on rainwater, but only 1.1 per cent of its total area receives an average of 400-600 millimetres of rain, according to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.
A depression accompanied by a cold air mass started affecting the country on Tuesday morning, causing a drop in temperatures and bringing rain to different parts of the country.
Relatively cold and wet weather is expected to prevail until Sunday, according to the Jordan Meteorological Department.
Temperatures in the capital over the weekend will range between a high of 17ºC and a low of 7 ºC, while winds will be southwesterly moderate.