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Water is one of the most valuable physical resources in the arid zone. Much effort is made by engineers to maximize availability and minimize wastage. In the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan water scarcity has been exacerbated in recent years by rapidly rising demand. In the early 1990s total national water consumption in Jordan approached 730 x 106m3. It is estimated that demand will rise to 1200 x 106 m3 by the year 2000.

In the northeast Badia of Jordan there are two major sources of water (Al-Homoud et al. 1995). Due to the topographic effect of the Jebel Druz, precipitation totals exceed 500 mm a-1 in the north, declining to <50 mm a-1 in the south. During winter months, runoff can be considerable but no reasonable data exist on parameters such as wadi discharge, infiltration rates and drainage basin contributing areas under storms of a given magnitude. Groundwater is found in three aquifers. Numerous government-operated and private wells have recently been drilled to exploit groundwater. There is little information on the recharge:extraction balance, changing spatial patterns of water availability and temporal changes in water quality, despite trends which hint at a depleting resource.

The purpose of the research was to provide data for enhancing efficient use of a scarce water resource. Supporting objectives for the surface water study included determining water availability, establishing patterns of runoff generation, quantifying sediment mobilization and transport rates and locating potential water harvesting sites. Supporting objectives for the groundwater study included determining the

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