Jordanian Water Pipeline Construction Starts

jordan-water-pipeThe Disi pipeline to supply Jordan with 30% of its water needs is underway.

The building of a pipeline that will supply Jordan’s capital with much needed water gets under way. The construction of a pipeline that will carry 3.5 billion cubic feet of water to the Jordanian capital Amman has commenced after years of water shortage.

Following a deal between Jordan and Turkey, the Disi Water Conveyance Project will tap water from the Disi aquifer, an underground reserve, located on the border between Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

“The country is in deficit in terms of water availability,” Munqeth Mehyar, chairperson and Jordan director of the environmental group Friends of the Earth-Middle East, told The Media Line. “Since we don’t have too many options in Jordan, they found out that water from the Disi would be a logical [source].”

“It will take a really long time to work on a water reform [program] between agriculture and the infrastructure in Amman and other major cities,” Mehyar said. “Between now and then the population will continue to grow so it’s only logical for the government to look for other resources.”

Planners of the pipeline are estimating that even after water from the Disi aquifer has been depleted, the channel will still serve to carry desalinated water from the Gulf of Aqaba in southern Jordan to the rest of the country.

Turkey and two European investment agencies have provided an estimated $1 billion of funding for the 210 mile pipeline. Construction will be undertaken by the Turkish firm GAMA and the British Halcrow.

“Worth approximately £5 million to the company, the scheme will involve project management, design review and site auditing for Jordan-based concessionaire Disi Water Company,” a Halcrow statement read.

Jordan is considered one of the ten most water-scarce countries in the world and domestic water usage is often restricted. Completion of the Disi pipeline is scheduled for 2013 and is due to cover about 30% of Amman’s water needs.

Construction of the pumping stations for the pipeline started in June 2009 and is nearing completion.

Mehyar stressed that the Disi project is not competing with the so called Red-Dead Canal, between the Red Sea and Dead Sea and designed to tackle the drying up of the Dead Sea.

“Its two different projects, the Disi project is Jordanian,” Mehyar said. “Jordan has been thinking about securing this project since 1989.”

“The Red-Dead canal is a totally different idea with totally different objectives,” he said referring both to saving the Dead Sea and plans to generate electricity from the canal’s water flow.

The natural source of the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, is depleting as both Israel and Jordan are diverting its water.

(By Adam Gonn for The Media Line, the Mideast News Source. Reprinted with permission.)

More on water from the Jordan-Israel region:
Activists Urge Pope to Help Them Clean Up the Jordan
The Jordan River Peace Park
Israel to Compensate Jordan for Polluted Water

[image via mamchenkov]

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6 thoughts on “Jordanian Water Pipeline Construction Starts”

  1. Johnny Walker says:

    A year into the project ………. worth asking how it is progressing?? Is the Contractor managing to keep to schedule?

  2. Great to hear the country is going to get some much needed water supply. A shame ot hear of the Jordan River becoming depleted.

  3. DennisCovet says:

    This looks like a good plan, but it can only be done with better organizing. This started quite a long time ago and it should have be finished by now, and maybe they should go with a steel roll forming company from abroad to ensure efficiency.

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