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Weekend rains filled country’s dams to 26 per cent of total capacity — ministry

By Hana Namrouqa - Nov 11,2018 - Last updated at Nov 11,2018

Waleh Dam, pictured here, in Madaba Governorate on Friday reached its full capacity of 9.3mcm, according to ministry spokesperson Omar Salameh (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The weekend’s rain channelled more than 9 million cubic metres (mcm) of water into the Kingdom’s 14 major dams, raising storage levels to 26 per cent of the dams’ total capacity, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation said on Saturday.

By Saturday morning, the country’s 14 major dams held 87.6mcm of their total capacity of 336mcm, Minister of Water and Irrigation Raed Abul Saud said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

The country received 512mcm of rain during the weekend’s unstable weather conditions. The amount constitutes 6.3 per cent of the country’s long-term annual average of rainfall of 8.1 billion cubic metres, Abul Saud said, noting that “the recent rain will recharge aquifers and boost the [current] agricultural season and natural pastures”.

The country on Friday was affected by unstable weather conditions, which brought rain to different parts of the country and heavier precipitation to the eastern and southern parts of the country, creating substantial run-off in several areas.

The ministry’s figures indicated that Madaba Governorate, 30 kilometres north of Amman, received the highest amount of rain, with the governorate’s Waleh area receiving 25.6mm while Madaba in general received 5.1mm.

Waleh Dam in Madaba Governorate on Friday reached its full capacity of 9.3mcm, according to the ministry’s spokesperson, Omar Salameh, who highlighted that the dam overflowed on Friday evening after it reached its full capacity. 

He indicated that 120 cubic metres of water per second were overflowing from the dam.

“A total of 200 cubic meters of water per second were entering the dam on Friday, thus the ministry issued warnings to the public and authorities to stay away from Wadi Al Waleh Stream in Madaba because of the massive flow of rainwater and an expected overflowing of the dam by Friday night,” Salameh said, underlining that the flashfloods did not affect the country’s dams, and that the Waleh Dam and all other dams are safe.

“All of the country’s carriers and main pipelines were not affected by the extreme weather. The closure of the Desert Highway due to flashfloods did not damage water pipes or the Disi Water Conveyance pipeline as rumoured,” he said.

The ministry, however, suspended pumping water from several wells on Friday and Saturday, following the heavy rain. The stoppage included resources like Heidan and Waleh wells in Madaba as well as from the Zarqa-Maeen Water Treatment Plant near the Dead Sea, officials at the ministry and the Jordan Water Company  told The Jordan Times.

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