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Virus crisis, heatwave heighten water demand — official

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Sep 14,2020 - Last updated at Sep 14,2020

The coronavirus crisis and the heatwave impacting the Kingdom have strained its water sector, Assistant Secretary General and Spokesperson at the Water Ministry Omar Salameh said on Monday (JT file photo)

AMMAN — The coronavirus crisis and the heatwave impacting the Kingdom have strained its water sector, Assistant Secretary General and Spokesperson at the Water Ministry Omar Salameh said on Monday.

The ministry usually increases pumping from the Disi pipeline up to 110 million cubic metres (mcm) during summer, Salameh told The Jordan Times over the phone.

He said that the ministry during the heatwave increased pumping to the maximum level from the pipeline, amounting up to around 114mcm. 

The water sector “performed well” during the heatwave across the Kingdom, with no large-scale disruptions to pumping and distribution, especially because no violations were detected on main water resources that would cause disruption to distribution, just like earlier attacks on the Disi pipeline, Salameh said.

The ministry removed 207 illegal fixtures on the King Abdullah Canal, one of the main water sources in the Kingdom, Salameh said, noting that drones were used to detect the violations, which were resolved in 48 hours over the weekend.

The virus crisis, which has been impacting the Kingdom since March, when people had to stay home due to comprehensive lockdowns, and the closures of universities, schools and institutions, all impacted the water sector as demand increased during that period, the spokesperson said.

“Water sources were strained as pumping had been set to the maximum capacity since the beginning of the year,” he added.

During the five past years, more than 45,000 breaches were recorded on main pipelines, he said, noting that 18,000 breaches were also dealt with and removed from the King Abdullah Canal, he concluded. 

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