Jordan has launched an emergency plan to deal with its summer water shortage, the country's water minister Kamel Mahadin said Wednesday.
The emergency plan involves activating some 42 emergency wells with a capacity of 30 million cubic meters (1.05 billion cubic feet) in summer - from early May through October, he told a news conference.
The plan also covers a water use awareness campaign, targeting wastage levels, Mahadin added.
Jordan has gone through a tough drought the last three years, but has seen higher winter rainfall levels. Despite that, the six main reservoirs currently hold just 53 million cubic meters against an overall capacity of 160 million.
The minister said the shortfall for this year's land irrigation supply is around 45 million cubic meters, with a shortfall of 40 million for drinking water.
Mahadin added that the government would be launching two projects aimed at "mid-term" solutions to the annual deficit of an estimated 220 cubic meters.
The two projects costing 17 million Jordanian dinars (24 million dollars) concern two water underground water sources with an annual capacity of 21 million cubic meters and should be completed in 2001.
The minister said that for the long term, Jordan is working on three main projects, the largest being in the Dissi basin, aimed at supplying Amman with 100 million cubic meters of water per year over 30 years, through pumps and 320-kilometre (200-mile) long pipes at a cost of 590 million dollars.
Referring to an Iranian proposal to carry out the work at a lower cost, Mahadin said "the Iranian offer held little detail, and covered just a page and a half."
That offer was announced earlier this week by the Iranian ambassador to Amman, Nasratallah Tajik.
"Libya has confirmed that it plans to help with the project, both financially and in carrying it out," the minister said without further detail - (AFP)
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