(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The Jordan Valley Authority (JVA) has started examining the country's major dams in preparation for storing rainwater as winter approaches, a government official said on Monday.
A committee is currently examining the storage conditions and equipment of each dam and will soon issue a report recommending renovation and maintenance where needed, JVA Secretary General Saad Abu Hammour said.
"The committee, which started inspecting the reservoirs earlier this month, will also recommend clearing out dirt from the streams in the catchment area that supply the dams with water to ensure they are not polluted or blocked with soil," Abu Hammour told The Jordan Times over the phone.
Teams remove sediment from the dams to increase their capacity and prevent water salinity, and also clean up their shorelines, according to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.
After dams are renovated ahead of the wet season, the committee declares them ready for storing rainwater, Abu Hammour added.
"The country's dams currently hold 63.5 million cubic metres (mcm) of their 327mcm capacity, which is a fairly good amount given the fact that summer is ending," he noted.
The Kingdom's 10 major dams are: King Talal, Wadi Al Arab, Sharhabil, Kafrein, Wadi Shuaib, Karameh, Tannour, Waleh, Mujib and Wihdeh.
Dams, though expensive to construct, are one of the main ways the country relies on to secure its water needs.
The Kingdom relies mainly on rainwater, but only 1.1 per cent of its total area receives an average of 400-600 millimetres of rain, according to the ministry.
Approximately 91 per cent of Jordan's total area of 97,000 square kilometres is situated in arid areas with an annual rainfall average of 50-200 millimetres, while 2.9 per cent of the country's land is categorised as semi-arid.
The first rainfall is witnessed in mid-September or early October, while the wet season usually continues until February, according to the Jordan Meteorological Department.