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Dams now nearly half full following depression

‘Storage still below last year’s 59.1% during same period’

By Hana Namrouqa - Feb 18,2017 - Last updated at Feb 18,2017

A truck clears snow from a road in Maan, 220km south of Amman, last week (Al Rai photo)

AMMAN — The Kingdom’s 11 main dams now hold 48.9 per cent of their total capacity of 333.24 million cubic metres (mcm) following a recent depression, which brought rain and snow to several parts of the country, according to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.

During the depression, which started on Sunday and tapered off on Wednesday, some 6mcm of water entered the Kingdom’s dams until Saturday morning, Water Minister Hazem Nasser said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

“The dams now hold 163mcm or 48.9 per cent of their total capacity of 333.24mcm,” Nasser said in the statement.

An official at the ministry said current water storage at the dams is far below what they held last year, indicating that during the same period last year, the dams held 192.3 or 59.1 per cent of their total capacity.

The official highlighted that water levels in three of the main dams did not increase during the depression, including Tannour Dam in Tafileh, Mujib Dam in Karak and Waleh Dam in Madaba.

The ministry’s statement also indicated that rain and snow between Sunday and Friday raised the Kingdom’s long-term annual average of rainfall of 8 billion cubic metres to 65.2 per cent.

The highest rainfall during the depression was recorded on Thursday in Thaghret Asfour in Jerash Governorate, some 48km north of Amman, which received 19.8 millimetres of rain in one day.

The ministry indicated that main dams, ponds and desert dams across the country collect 60.5 per cent of rainwater and runoff, noting that the percentage is among the highest rates internationally.

Dams, though expensive to construct, are key for the Kingdom to secure its water needs. Plans are under way to raise the dams’ storage to 400mcm by the year 2020.

 

Approximately 91 per cent of Jordan’s total area of 89,213 square kilometres is arid, with an annual rainfall average of 50-200 millimetres, while 2.9 per cent of the country’s land is semi-arid, with an annual rainfall average of 400-580 millimetres.

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