WATER AUTHORITY OF JORDAN will begin construction on the Augmentation of Water Supply for Central and Northern Jordan from the Deep Aquifer (Sheediyya –Al Hasa).
THE RED-DEAD SEA PROJECT In August 2013, the Jordanian government announced that it would move ahead with the first phase of the project with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed last December between Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The Red-Dead Sea Project will be implemented by mid-2018 and will help to provide potable water to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Additionally, it will generate electricity to support the energy needs of the project and will help to stabilise the Dead Sea water level. “The Red Sea proje c t i s a h u g e project so we h a ve tri ed t o divide it bec a u se i t ’s
so c ost l y, ” e xpl a in s M r AlHa ba sh n e h . “If w e d id it in on e st a ge i t w ould c o s t m o re t h a n U S $10 bi l l io n s o w e di vi de d i t . Th e fir s t s t a g e is t h e de sa l i n a t i on of t h e w a t e r f ro m t h e Re d S e a a n d w e h o p e t o ge t a rou n d 100 m illio n c u b ic m e t e rs ( m c m ) f ro m t h is . ” The Red Sea Dead Sea Water Conveyor (RSDSWC) plan involves the development of a desalination plant at the Aqaba port in Jordan which will refine between 80 - 100 mcm annually and will be shared between the participating countries; Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The aim of the plant is to produce up to 100 mcm per year for Jordan. In a statement, the Project Manager for the RedDead Sea programme at the Ministry, Nabeel Zoubi explained: “W ith this, we will have solved Jordan’s problems at least for the next 20 years.”
OVERCOMING CHALLENGES Of course, as with so many large-scale projects, there are challenges to be faced. The overall cost, at an estimated US$10 billion, is raising questions; as are the environmental impacts involved in delivering brine into the Dead Sea through a 180km pipeline. There are further concerns that the project will be located along the Rift Valley which remains seismically active. However, the Red-Dead Sea Project looks set to be the only suitable solution that will bring the Kingdom and surrounding regions fresh, clean water. Importantly and although controversial, the use of brine will help to assist in the revival of the Dead Seawith statistics highlighting its surface area is shrinking by an estimated 30% in the last 20 years alone. “The service of the dead sea decreases yearly by about one
Secretary General, HE Eng. Tawfiq Al-Habashneh
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