Water scarcity is a major barrier to Jordan’s development. The water supply in the north governorates is mainly provided by pumping from local aquifers, which are exploited beyond their potential for sustainable renewal. The massive influx of refugees from the Syrian crisis, most of whom live in the area, has seriously aggravated this overexploitation and contributed to the deterioration of the service, which is likely to cause tensions between refugees and host populations. The Government has planned to increase the volume of water transferred to the north governorates by extending the Disi water pipe, which supplies Amman, to the city of Zarqa (ongoing AFD financing) and up to Mafraq. For the other three governorates (Irbid, Ajloun and Jerash), it wants to mobilize an additional volume of water from the King Abdullah Canal, which brings together water in the Jordan Valley from the Yarmouk River and highlands and water from Lake Tiberias, bought from Israel in the context of regional agreements: the purpose of this project.
This project will contribute to the following objectives:
- Meet the increase in demand related to population growth, especially the influx of refugees.
- Reduce the overexploitation of surface aquifers. This overexploitation is caused by the increase in demand.
- Prepare transboundary water transfers in the context of regional water exchange agreements and the “Red Sea-Dead Sea” project.
The project will withdraw 30 million m3 of raw water a year from the Jordan Valley, treat it and pump it, via the Wadi al Arab, to supply the governorates of Irbid, Ajloun and Jerash. It includes:
- Water abstraction in the King Abdullah Canal at the Wadi al Arab (in the north of the Jordan Valley).
- The purification of the abstracted water, requiring advanced treatment: the water treatment plant will account for approximately half of the investment.
- The conveyance of the water up to the Zabda reservoir, on the outskirts of Irbid, i.e. a distance of 30 kilometers and 825 meters of height differences, requiring four pumping stations.
The total investment cost is estimated at USD 112m, which will be financed by the European Investment Bank, AFD and the European Union with a grant from the NIF (Neighbourhood Investment Facility). AFD’s financing concerns 38% of the total project cost.
Increase in the drinking water supply of the north governorates.
This project is carried out with the support of the European Union
The content of this project information sheet falls under the sole responsibility of the AFD and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the European Union.
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