Water supply in Jordan under drought conditions

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This paper discusses the Mujib Dam reservoir's storage during the drought years of 2007–2009. It has been concluded that the policy of unplanned water release during the dry year 2007, when little attention was paid to the possibility of a continuation of the drought, contributed to the remarkable lack of surface water storage during 2008, another dry year. For better management and planning, this paper presents theoretical models to evaluate the occurrence probability and return period for extreme droughts, assuming that drought deficits are Beta distributed. Droughts of a short length (2–3 years) and deficits that exceed a threshold deficit (Do) are the most frequent droughts in the central Jordan region. Regardless of the drought deficit magnitude and the drought length, the return period of any drought condition is nearly 4 years. This paper recommends the application of large-scale sustainable solutions to reduce the gap between the demand on water and supply in Jordan during drought conditions. Furthermore, it is recommended that water losses from the clean water distribution systems be reduced below the existing loss rate, that large-scale rainwater capturing techniques are employed, and that large-scale desalination practices are applied to the readily available brackish and seawater in Jordan.

Keywords: Desalination, Drought frequency, Water harvesting, Water supply

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