King kingdom

Ongoing water conservation project for King Talal Dam in Jordan

AMMAN — A water accessibility and conservation project at the King Talal Dam is being implemented by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Blumont, an NGO that works for the benefit of refugees and host populations, and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).

The project will reduce the impact of sedimentation and erosion by regulating flooding and water flow in the upper Zarqa River through construction and restoration activities, as well as better land management and resources, according to a statement made available to The Jordan Times.

The King Talal Dam is one of the largest dams in Jordan, with a total capacity of 76.5 million cubic meters. However, since its opening more than 43 years ago, the dam has lost around 20% of its capacity due to sedimentation and severe soil erosion around the river.

The continued operation of the dam is “more critical than ever”, given the increased demand for water for both agriculture and daily life, the statement read.

“The King Talal Dam is an important part of Jordan’s water infrastructure and its protection supports broader efforts to improve the management and use of this vital resource,” said Jonathan Nash, President and CEO. management of Blumont, in the press release.

“Implementing this project while creating livelihood opportunities for the community further strengthens the foundations for economic development,” Nash added.

Manar Al Mahasneh, Secretary General of the Jordan Valley Authority (JVA), said, “This project plays an important role in reducing sediment from the dam. The amount of water stored in a dam does not represent the actual amount of water that can be used for drinking or agricultural purposes due to evaporation and the accumulation of large amounts of silt and sediment over time. years.

Mahasneh noted that the JVA is taking “every possible measure to intensify available capacities and efforts”, including construction works.

These efforts aim to extend the life of the dams and make optimal use of available water supplies while increasing storage capacity, he said.

The project will also provide temporary employment opportunities to 500 vulnerable Jordanian and Syrian refugees in areas around the Zarqa River and the King Talal Dam. Community members will be hired to support the work, including installing irrigation systems, planting trees, removing sediment and constructing flood mitigation structures.

Blumont will also conduct outreach activities to increase local communities’ knowledge of soil erosion and flood mitigation in farmland to help protect the area surrounding the dam.

The King Talal Dam Protection Project is part of the project “Protecting Hydraulic Dams in Jordan through Labor Intensive Activities — Cash for Work”, which is implemented by GIZ for the account of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in partnership with Blumont and the Jordan Valley Authority.

“The Dam Protection Project aims to preserve the water storage capacity of dams in Jordan by reducing soil erosion, which will lead to siltation of dams, by employing skilled and unskilled Jordanian and Syrian laborers after having received training,” said Aladdin Hiyasat, head of the Soil. Erosion component of the GIZ project.

He also noted that since 2017, the project has created more than 12,000 temporary employment opportunities in all governorates of the Kingdom, of which 20% were for women and people with disabilities.

The project also includes training in modern sediment measurement techniques and the equipment and materials needed to improve dam management, he added.

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