by Hani Hazaimeh | Jul 10, 2013 | JORDAN TIMES
AMMAN — Amman residents were due as of midnight Wednesday to start receiving Disi aquifer water as the experimental pumping was scheduled to start with around 130,000 cubic metres a day, the government said on Wednesday.
“We will start pumping small amounts as a test to check the readiness of the project and to tackle any operational flaws that may emerge during this trial period. Once we can confirm that the project is all set for official launch we will announce it to the public,” Minister of Water and Irrigation Hazem Nasser told reporters earlier in the day.
The project will help stabilise the water distribution programme and enhance the quantities of drinking water the public receives, the official said.
“It is expected that people will receive water up to four days a week,” the minister said, adding that water supplying Amman from the governorates will be used locally to supply the area where the aquifer is and thus it will enhance the water situation there.
Nevertheless, Nasser called on citizens to continue rationing water consumption, taking into consideration the pressure on the Kingdom as a result of the influx of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and other expatriates.
During its construction phase, the minister said that more than 5,000 workers were recruited, 75 per cent of whom were Jordanians, adding that in the operational phase the project will be operated by around 100 skilled workers, 90 per cent will be Jordanians, in addition to other logistic support staff.
According to the minister, lab tests have confirmed the safety of water from the Disi aquifer, which has high levels of natural radioactive particles. The tests showed that the Disi water is even cleaner than the bottled water sold in the local markets.
Nasser noted that the ministry has pumped water through the pipes, which will convey the water to Amman, to ensure they are clean of any obstructions, adding that the pumped water will run through water pipes that extend for more than 360 kilometres.
The project was designed in a way that saves energy. Water will flow under the influence of gravity for more than 234 kilometres, the minister explained.