AMMAN — Over the past week, the Kingdom witnessed one of its heaviest snowfalls in years particularly in the northern and central regions where between 20 and 30 centimetres of snow was reported, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.
Heavy rainfall has since channelled around 5.5 million cubic metres (mcm) of water into Jordan’s major dams.
As of Friday morning, the recent precipitation raised the overall volume of rainfall this season to 52 per cent of Jordan’s long-term annual average of 8.1 billion cubic metres (bcm), with the highest precipitation rate recorded in Amman, according to a report from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.
Dams are vital water facilities in the Kingdom and are one of the most important water sources to supply drinking water for the public, in addition to being the main source for irrigating crops and securing the water needs of farmers in the Jordan Valley, according to the Jordan Valley Authority.
“Jordan depends a lot on its groundwater since it is the main source of drinking water. We hope that this winter will recharge the well field,” Secretary General of Water Authority of Jordan Bashar Bataineh told The Jordan Times in a phone interview.
Bataineh added that the melting snow is a good sign for the storage levels of Jordan’s major dams.
“You can see on the street now that the snow is starting to melt, which will then channel water into Jordan’s three main dams: Al Wehda, Al Mujib and Al Waleh dams,” he said.
“Until now we haven’t gotten a good quantity of water that we can save and use for the next summer, but we are still at an early stage studying the situation. We were told that there will be three to four more big rainfalls or snows, which will be very good for Jordan,” he added.
Bataineh noted that the recent rainfall has improved the Kingdom’s storage in dams, which is seen as a positive start for the year.
“We started our winter this year with zero capacity — some of the dams were dried up and fully empty. But now, we are starting to see some water feeding into the dams a little bit, step by step. We hope that it will be full and we can continue after that,” he said.
Last year, Jordan experienced a significant rain shortage and a severe drought. Dams were at their lowest storage levels due to the scarcity of rainwater, with water storage recorded at 80 mcm lower than previous years.
Bataineh expressed hope that winter this year will reassure citizens and bring some positive news for the Kingdom’s water scarcity problem.
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