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News Jordan: Projected desert dams to recharge northeastern badia groundwater resources

Two dams and nine sand dams will be established in the northeastern badia by 2013 to recharge groundwater resources and secure local communities with a permanent water supply, officials said last October 9th.

The dams, which will be established under two agreements signed on October 9th between the ministries of environment and water, will be constructed at a cost of JD847,030 and have a total capacity of 800,000 cubic metres, Environment Minister Yaseen Khayyat said.

"The dams seek to raise the efficiency of water resource use in the badia and increase their production via rainwater harvesting, coupled with the treatment and desalination of water from artesian wells," Khayyat added.

The desert dams and rehabilitated wells will be used for agricultural purposes and for watering livestock. In addition, water from the wells will be desalinated and treated for drinking purposes.

The desert dams are part of a project for the rehabilitation of natural pastures in the northeastern badia.

Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Najjar said the dams will have a positive impact on the social and economic conditions of local communities and improve the green cover and ecosystems in the badia.

The agreement is funded by the environmental compensation granted to the Kingdom by the United Nations Compensation Committee (UNCC).

In July this year, both ministries signed two similar agreements worth around JD2.15 million, under which 15 desert dams with a total capacity of two million cubic metres will be established in the northeastern badia by 2013.

At the time, Khayyat underscored that several other agreements will be signed soon with different ministries and local institutions to rehabilitate the badia's ecosystems, increase its green cover, improve the productivity of pastures and raise the efficiency of livestock production.

In 2005, the UNCC awarded Jordan $160.5 million in compensation for damage incurred to the country’s water, environment, wildlife, marine life and agriculture in the aftermath of the first Gulf war, in addition to $1.4 million to tackle the salinity of underground water basins.

The funds will be used to support projects that focus on returning the badia’s ecosystem to its pre-1990 status and address the negative consequences of random grazing and wildlife deterioration.

The Badia Restoration Programme focuses on improving the area’s vegetation cover and biodiversity, providing veterinary services for livestock, managing pastures, introducing water harvesting techniques and cultivating fodder.

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News type Inbrief
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Source of information Jordan Times
Keyword(s) dams, groundwater
Geographical coverage Jordan
News date 10/10/2012
Working language(s) ENGLISH