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|19 February, 2019

Jordan's Shidiyeh-Hassa Water Conveyance Project enters implementation phase

The first phase will be funded by a $20.8mln grant under the USDA’s Food for Progress Programme

Image used for illustrative purpose. A general view of the construction of a pumping station at the head of one of the canals being built to divert water from the Sao Francisco river for use in four drought-plagued states, a project that is three years behind schedule and has doubled in cost from the original estimate of $3.4 billion, near the city of Cabrobo, Pernambuco state, January 24, 2014.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A general view of the construction of a pumping station at the head of one of the canals being built to divert water from the Sao Francisco river for use in four drought-plagued states, a project that is three years behind schedule and has doubled in cost from the original estimate of $3.4 billion, near the city of Cabrobo, Pernambuco state, January 24, 2014.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

AMMAN — Implementation of the Shidiyeh-Hassa Water Conveyance Project has commenced, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation announced on Tuesday, describing the scheme as a “strategic project which seeks to bring the Kingdom closer to achieving national water security”.

The “mega project” aims to extract water from deep wells located in the south, between the Shidiyeh, Hassa and Qatraneh areas.

The ministry and the US Department for Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service signed on Tuesday the project’s first phase implementation agreement, under which 20 million cubic metres (mcm) of water will be extracted from deep wells in the south. The first phase will be funded by a $20.8-million grant under the USDA’s Food for Progress Programme, according to a ministry’s statement.

“The Shidiyeh-Hassa project is one of the ministry’s priority strategic projects that the ministry approved... It will provide, in its first phase, 20mcm from a field of 20 wells in the Shidiyeh-Hassa area. Extracted water will be treated at plant that will be constricted in the Swaqa area,” Minister of Water and Irrigation Raed Abul Saud said in the statement.

Shidiyeh and Hassa are located in Tafileh Governorate, some 180km southwest of Amman, while Qatraneh is located in Karak Governorate, 140km south of the capital.

The plant in Swaqa, located south of Amman, will be linked to the National Water Carrier project, which the ministry completed in 2017 to connect water projects in the south of the Kingdom to projects in the central and northern regions, in order to better supply water-distressed areas, especially in the north, via an expansive network of 600 kilometres of pipeline, according to the ministry.

Under the project’s second phase, a total of 50mcm will be extracted annually from three well fields in Jurf Al Darawish, Hamidiyeh and Lajjoun, Abul Saud said, noting that the capacity of the treatment plant in Swaqa will be expanded.

“The water will be distributed across the board,” the ministry said.

The first phase will be implanted by ACWA Power and a local contractor, according to the ministry, which said that the ministry will be start with the drilling of 20 wells and construction of a 57km-long network to drag the extracted water.

Water Ministry Spokesperson Omar Salameh said that implementation of the project went into effect with the signing of the agreement on Tuesday.

“The first phase is scheduled to end within two years. Implementation will be swift, as this is a strategic project that seeks to strengthen the country’s water security,” Salameh told The Jordan Times.

The ministry first announced plans for the Shidiyeh-Hassa project in mid-2013, when it said that the project entails extracting water from wells, at depths reaching 1,500 metres, located in the south between the Shidiyeh, Hassa and Qatraneh areas.

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