Tenders for the long-delayed Wihdeh dam project on the Yarmouk River are scheduled to be floated by the end of this month, officials said on Sunday. Water and Irrigation ministry officials told the Jordan Times that the government expects several international companies to bid for setting up 50 percent of the $220 million plan. The rest will be implemented by local and Syrian companies. The sources declined to specify the exact date for inviting bids.
Construction of the long-awaited project is scheduled to start next year to provide the drought-hit Kingdom with 80 percent of the 225 million cubic meters of water stored in the dam and 25 percent of the power that will be generated by the project.
It was agreed that Syria would take 20 percent of the stored water and 75 percent of the power. Eighty percent of the planned scheme's cost has been collected from Arab economic funds, while the government will fund the rest.
The plan, which suffered a 13-year-old delay because of regional political tensions and lack of funds, is part of the kingdom's strategy to cope with a chronic water shortage.
Some experts have said setting up a dam on the Yarmouk might not be feasible, because the river, which originates in Syria and joins the Jordan River downstream from lake Tiberias, reached its lowest level in recent history last year as a result of a regional drought and the abuse of its water. — ( Jordan Times )
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)