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‘Major’ water theft operation dismantled in south Amman

600 cubic metres of water diverted daily from one of capital’s main carriers

By Hana Namrouqa - Jul 05,2018 - Last updated at Jul 05,2018

Huge amounts of municipal fresh water were being diverted for various illegal purposes (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Water and Irrigation)

AMMAN — Authorities on Wednesday morning discovered in southern Amman a major water violation, under which around 600 cubic metres of water were being diverted daily from one of the capital’s main carriers.

A team from the Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna) had been inspecting a possible case of water violation, according to a company official, who noted that after verifying that municipal water was being illegally diverted, the company, in cooperation with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and security forces, raided the location.

“The violation entailed the construction of a 63-millimetre-wide water pipe under the ground in Um Al Amad. The illegal pipeline has been diverting 25 cubic metres of water per hour to nearby private properties,” the official said.

Huge amounts of municipal fresh water were being diverted to fill up a huge pond and irrigate ten greenhouses, pick-flower nurseries and plantations of different kinds of crops, in addition to supplying a water tanker, the official highlighted.

“Miyahuna’s teams removed the illegal pipeline and referred the case for legal action in preparation for summoning those involved in the violation,” the company’s official noted.

Seeking to put an end to water theft, violations of the water network and the illegal drilling of wells, the government launched in the summer of 2013 a “groundbreaking” national campaign. Since the effort was announced, a total of 120 million cubic metres (mcm) of fresh water have been saved over the past five years as more than 36,661 violations on water mains and networks were stopped and 1,022 illegal wells have been sealed across the country.

The Miyahuna official reiterated the penalties against those who sabotage the water network, noting that stiffer penalties for infractions against the water system have been introduced under the amended Water Authority of Jordan Law.

Those who abuse water carriers and mains, wastewater, pumping, purification or desalination stations, cause the pollution of water resources, pipes or stations used for drinking water, of dig or are involved in the digging of wells without obtaining a licence face a prison sentence of up to five years and fines of up to JD7,000.

In addition, violators of water and wastewater projects can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to JD5,000 under the amendments, while all penalties are doubled in the case of repeat offences.

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