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Expansion works on Wadi Suhaib dam concludes

By Hana Namrouqa - Feb 10,2018 - Last updated at Feb 10,2018

AMMAN — Expansion works on Wadi Shuaib Dam in Balqa Governorate has concluded, raising the capacity of the reservoir by 21 per cent, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation announced on Saturday.

Technical, engineering and construction works for increasing the capacity of Wadi Shuaib Dam were carried out by the Jordan Valley Authority, an affiliate with the ministry, Minister of Water and Irrigation Hazim El Naser said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

"The water reservoir of the dam is now 75-centimetres higher. The ministry did specialised studies on the status of the dam's lake and safety of the dams' structure before commencing with the expansion works," El Naser said in the statement.

The minister underlined that the expansion works were completed in "record time".

Ministry's Spokesperson Omar Salameh said that the dam storage increased from 1.41 million cubic metres (mcm) to 1.7mcm.

"Expansion of the dam took less than a year. The water of the dam is used mainly for irrigation purposes. It is also used for drinking purposes after its water is treated at an on-site treatment plant," Salameh told The Jordan Times.

Increasing the dam's storage seeks to boost agriculture in southern Shouneh, according to El Naser, who noted that more water will be available for the irrigation of some 5,000 dunums of profitable crops which are competitive in international markets.

The minister said that raising the capacity of the dam, which often overflows during winter, is part of the ministry's 2016-2025 national strategy that entails implementing new water and wastewater projects, investments ventures and increasing rainwater harvesting.

Jordan is internationally categorised as being one of the most efficient countries in terms of rainwater harvesting through a network of 14 major dams with a capacity of 336mcm, 63 desert dams that can hold 88.6mcm as well as 237 ponds with the capacity of 23mcm.

"The ministry seeks to restore the strategic water reserve across the country's dams to protect the quality of stored water, especially in light of the changing climate that is increasingly affecting the country year after year," El Naser noted in the statement.

The country's major dams now hold 37 per cent or 125.5mcm of their total capacity, Salameh said.

 

He noted that the ministry aims at raising the capacity of the Kingdom’s dams by 25 per cent to reach 400mcm by the year 2025.

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