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Study assesses viability of drilling new wells in Irbid

By Hana Namrouqa - Jul 12,2018 - Last updated at Jul 12,2018

AMMAN — The Ministry of Water and Irrigation has started a new technical study to measure the level and status of underground water in the Huwara aquifer in Irbid Governorate to assess the viability of drilling new wells.

Measuring the status of the aquifer beneath Huwarah, located in eastern Irbid, is part of the ministry’s measures seeking to improve water supply in Huwarah and adjacent areas, according to the ministry’s spokesperson, Omar Salameh.

Salameh said that the Minister of Water and Irrigation Munir Oweiss instructed the ministry’s technical teams to evaluate the status of the Huwarah aquifer during a visit to the northern governorate earlier this week.

“The study will reveal if it is possible to dig new wells and if it is viable to operate sealed wells to ultimately provide additional water amounts to people in Huwarah and adjacent villages in Irbid,” Salameh stated.

Water demand in the northern governorates of Irbid, Jerash, Ajloun and Mafraq increased by 40 per cent over the past seven years  when the Syrian unrest erupted and resulted with a mass exodus of Syrian people to Jordan. Water per capita share almost dropped by half in the north following the arrival of some 1.4 million Syrian refugees into Jordan, the majority of whom took refuge in the northern region.

The ministry recently said that new water resources have entered the country’s network of fresh water this summer, indicating that the new sources already started supplying the north to ease the water scarcity.

During his visit to Irbid this week, Oweis announced that the second phase of a multi-million-dollar project will commence next month, Salameh noted.

Under the $22-million plan, supported by JICA, the 170km-long water network and pipelines, some installed 50 years ago, will be replaced to improve supply, according to the ministry.

Japan extended the grant in response to the request made to support Jordan in alleviating the pressures of hosting hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees as part of the Jordanian Response Plan to the Syrian crisis. The grant will be administered by the United Nations Office for Project Services.

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