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Agreement signed to upgrade Jordan Valley pumping projects

By JT - Feb 24,2020 - Last updated at Feb 24,2020

AMMAN — The Water Ministry and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Monday signed an agreement valued at $11 million to revamp components of the hydraulic system in the Jordan Valley. 

During the signing ceremony, attended by USAID Mission Director Jim Barnhart and senior officials from the agency and the water sector, Water Minister Raed Abul Saud said that the project works to improve water supply and operation systems in the Jordan Valley area, according to a ministry statement. 

The minister said in the statement that the project will improve services provided to citizens and farmers in the Jordan Valley, reducing water loss and maintenance and operation costs.

The new "Fixed Amount Reimbursement Agreement" (FARA) is part of a risk management programme, and its execution will improve the quality of water pumping and increase the amounts pumped, Abul Saud said, adding that it will depend on the latest technologies adopted globally.

The FARA includes rehabilitating the Wadi Araba Irrigation project, which in turn includes upgrading irrigation networks at agriculture basins in northern Shouneh and northern Ghor, covering a total area of 15,000 dunums and serving 470 agricultural units, according to the statement.

The minister said that the plots are mainly irrigated through the Wadi Araba Dam, and partly through the King Abdullah Canal.

He noted that the project was originally established in 1984 with funding from the Japanese government. Having been in operation for a long time, the networks and systems are witnessing a rise in maintenance and operation costs. 

The USAID-funded project will also build a pumping station at the King Abdullah Canal utilising "state-of-the-art systems", which will ensure that farmers will receive the proper amount of water while preventing any illegal use, the statement said.

Abul Saud said that the projects will incorporate smart water meters on all main and sub-networks to monitor quantities.

Another project under the FARA will focus on rehabilitating parts of the King Abdullah Canal, at a length of eight kilometres extending from the second to the tenth pumping station, which the statement described as the longest section of the canal losing the largest amounts of water.

The minister commended USAID's support to the Kingdom's water sector, noting that the ministry will sign more agreements in the future to attract further international grants and support, in cooperation with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation. 


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