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Weekend rain raises storage at dams to ‘encouraging’ levels

By Hana Namrouqa - Feb 19,2018 - Last updated at Feb 19,2018

AMMAN — Heavy precipitation on Saturday and Sunday night raised water storage at the country’s major dams to “acceptable levels”, easing doubts of an insufficient reserve for the hot season, a government official said on Sunday.

By Sunday morning, the 14 major dams held 40 per cent of their total capacity of 336 million cubic metres (mcm) of water, according to the official at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.

“The fact that storage at the dams reached 40 per cent is reassuring, given the fact that the rainy season started late and that we witnessed below-expectations precipitation,” the official, who preferred to remain unnamed, told The Jordan Times.

The dams now hold 133mcm of water, according to the government official, who noted that during this time last year, the dams held 163mcm or 50.3 per cent of their total capacity.

“It is when the dams hold 50 per cent of their total capacity that we, at the ministry, can say that we are out of the danger zone. However, this does not mean that we will have enough water to meet our drinking and irrigation needs, especially in the summer,” the official underlined.

Reaching the “50 per cent” mark is still possible, according to the official, who highlighted that weather charts indicate that the country will witness two more depressions this week.

Three of the country’s dams are now at their full capacity: the 8.18-mcm Waleh Dam in Madaba Governorate, the 29.82-mcm Mujib Dam in Karak Governorate and 1.7-mcm Wadi in Balqa Governorate’s Shuaib Dam, whose storage was newly expanded by some 20 per cent, according to the ministry’s figures.

Saturday and Sunday’s rainfall brought an additional 4.6mcm of water into the dams, according to the ministry, which said that the Kingdom received 67.6 per cent of its long-term annual average of rainfall of 8 billion cubic metres.

During this time last year, the country had received 70 per cent of its long-term annual average of rain. 

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