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Thirsty Jordan to secure desalinated water from the Red Sea

News report by Mash-hour Abu-eid

AMMAN, Jan 25 (KUNA) -- The Jordanian Government has campaigned to raise USD three billion for funding the national desalinated water carrier project, designed to secure water from the Red Sea to locations as far as the capital Amman.
According to official data, the water per capita share for all needs is less than 100 cubic meter per year, compared to 500 cm annually at the global level.
Currently, authorities pump water from Disi basin, an underground unrenewable water reservoir located in the south of the kingdom close to Saudi Arabia.
A transferred cubic meter of water pumped through pipelines stretching for some 300 kilometers consumes some 6.6 KW of power, equivalent to lighting seven houses for an hour -- thus the cost is quite high.
Aware that the water in Disi basin is not permanent, the authorities are focusing on the desaltinated water carrier project from the Red Sea Al-Qaba region.
Omar Salama, the assistant secretary general of the water ministry, told KUNA that the project is a top priority for the government, as the population grew from seven million souls ten years ago to 11 million at present.
The project, designed to secure water for most of the kingdom's regions until 2040, is also aimed at increasing water supplies to houses from once a week to round the clock, Salama said, describing it as one of the largest water desalination projects in the world.
He has affirmed that Jordan has no other option to secure water for its people other than the Red Sea venture, disclosing that its capacity would reach 300 million cm per year with a 400-km-long pipes' network covering all of the kingdom provinces.
Five consortia have qualified for its execution, he said adding that they would present their offers in the end of the first quarter of 2023.
Salama indicated that several international financial agencies had pledged to contribute with USD 2.2 billion worth of loans, aid and grants. The Jordanian Government's share will amount to USD 352 million out of the total cost, USD 352 million. (end) ab.rk