Friday, March 21, 2008

Thirsty Jordan scrambles to find new water resources

Terra Daily, via Agence France-Presse: The desert kingdom of Jordan, one of the 10 most water-impoverished countries in the world, is scrambling to find new resources to meet a chronic shortage of its diminishing "blue gold". Beset by years of drought, the authorities are focusing their energies on two mega projects to develop water resources in a country where 92 percent of the land is desert.

They plan to draw water from the 300,000-year-old Disi aquifer in southern Jordan and build a massive canal to bring water from the Red Sea to the slowly evaporating Dead Sea -- the lowest point on the face of the earth. "The two projects are vital," Munir Oweis, the water ministry secretary general, told AFP ahead of World Water Day on Saturday.

The government wants to dig 65 wells to extract water from the Disi aquifer, 325 kilometres (200 miles) south of Amman, in order to pump 100 million cubic metres (3.5 billion cubic feet) of water a year to Amman.

Daily water consumption per capita in Amman stands at 160 litres (36 US gallons). But nationwide demand is constantly increasing with Jordan's population of nearly six million growing by nearly 3.5 percent a year and an influx of more than 750,000 Iraqi refugees since the US-led invasion in 2003....

Map of Jordan, CIA Factbook, Wikimedia Commons

No comments: