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Al-Mashaqbeh O.,Royal Scientific Society | Jiries A.,Mu'tah University | El-Hajali Z.,Ministry of Water and Irrigation
WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2014

Six storm events were monitored during the winter season extended from October 2012 to April 2013 to investigate the stormwater runoff pollutant concentrations on urban and rural sites in the Amman-Zarqa basin. The average pollutant concentrations of stormwater runoff were significantly different from the urban and rural site. The results showed that the urban site generated stormwater runoff with the highest concentrations of organic pollutants COD and BOD5 (1685 mg/L and 91 mg/L) and dissolved heavy metals Zn, Cu, Pb and Mn (0.106 mg/L, 0.033 mg/L, 0.02 mg/L and 0.189 mg/L respectively). This is mainly due to the high traffic volume at urban site compared with the rural site. While the rural site generated the highest concentrations of total suspended solids TSS (6029 mg/L), nutrients T-N and T-P (31.2 mg/L and 34.3 mg/L) and fecal bacteria TCC, TFCC and E.coli (4.06E+07, 8.00E+05 and 1.31E+05 MPN/100ml, respectively) carried by the stormwater runoff. This is reflecting the presence of anthropogenic pollution sources such as using chemical and nature fertilizers in a rural site. A key constituent of runoff quality (COD, TSS, TKN, T-P, Zn and Pb) from both urban and rural sites are considered very high compared to those reported in other countries. This study has provided a better understanding of the concentrations and sources of stormwater runoff pollutants generated from urban and rural site which is posing a serious threat to water bodies within the Amman-Zarqa basin. Therefore, best management practices and proper land management measures should be taken to minimize the impacts of stormwater runoff. © 2014 WIT Press.

News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Syrian civil war and subsequent refugee migration caused sudden changes in the area's land use and freshwater resources, according to satellite data analyzed by Stanford researchers. The findings, published in the Dec. 5 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are the first to demonstrate detailed water management practices in an active war zone. Using satellite imagery processed in Google Earth Engine, Stanford researchers determined the conflict in Syria caused agricultural irrigation and reservoir storage to decrease by nearly 50 percent compared to prewar conditions. "The water management practices in Syria have changed and that's visible from space," said study co-author and principal investigator Steven Gorelick, the Cyrus Fisher Tolman Professor in Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. "The Syrian crisis has resulted in a reduction in agricultural land in southern Syria, a decline in Syrian demand for irrigation water and a dramatic change in the way the Syrians manage their reservoirs." The study focuses on impacts from 2013 to 2015 in the Yarmouk-Jordan river watershed, which is shared by Syria, Jordan and Israel. Study co-author Jim Yoon, a PhD candidate in Earth system science at Stanford, thought of the idea to study the Syrian war's impact on water resources when he noticed an increase in Yarmouk River flow based on streamflow data from Jordan's Ministry of Water and Irrigation. "The big challenge for us was that it was going to be next to impossible to get on-the-ground data in Syria," Yoon said. "We couldn't really close the story without this information in Syria - that was what led us to use remote sensing data." Using composite images of the 11 largest Syrian-controlled surface water reservoirs in the basin, researchers measured a 49 percent decrease in reservoir storage. Irrigated crops are greener than natural vegetation during the dry summer season. This characteristic was used to show Syria's irrigated land in the basin had decreased by 47 percent. Gorelick and his team looked at water management and land use on the Jordanian side of the Yarmouk basin and in Israel's Golan Heights as a baseline for understanding areas unaffected by the refugee crisis. "It's the first time that we could do large-scale remote sensing analysis in a war zone to actually prove a causal relation between conflict and water resources," said lead author Marc Muller, a postdoctoral researcher in Gorelick's lab. "With these new tools, you can do analysis and iterate very quickly - the effects were so strong, it was really easy to see right away." The research sets a precedent for using remote sensing data to understand environmental impacts in war zones or other areas where information otherwise could not be collected. "To be able to get this type of detailed information about a region where data on the ground are scarce is an important contribution," said Gorelick, who is also a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "This shows in the extreme case how relevant information can be obtained in an efficient and scientifically valid manner." Syria's abandonment of irrigated agriculture, combined with the region's recovery from a severe drought, caused increased Yarmouk River flow to downstream Jordan, one of the most water-poor countries in the world. However, Jordan has absorbed hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria since 2013. "It's slightly good news for Jordan, but it's not a big bonus compared to what Jordan has had to give up and sacrifice for the refugees," Gorelick said. "Even in terms of providing water for the refugees, this transboundary flow is not compensation." Despite this unexpected result, Jordan's flow from the Yarmouk River remains substantially below the volume expected under bilateral agreements with Syria, a result of legal and illegal reservoirs built in Syria, according to Gorelick. Gorelick and his team have cooperated with Jordan on water management research since 2013 through the Jordan Water Project (JWP), a National Science Foundation-funded international effort to analyze freshwater resource sustainability. While experts speculate climate change can lead to conflict, Yoon said it was interesting to examine Syria from a different perspective. "In the past few years, there's been increasing focus on how climate change and drought influences conflict, but there hasn't been as much research on how conflict can actually lead to impact on the environment and water resources," Yoon said. Ranked as one of the world's top three water-poor countries, Jordan faces serious potential impacts from climate change. One of the key goals of the JWP is to develop an integrated hydro-economic model of the Jordanian water system in order to explore policy interventions. Gorelick also directs the Global Freshwater Initiative at Stanford and runs the Hydrogeology and Water Resources Program at Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. Other co-authors on the study, "Impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on land use and transboundary freshwater resources," include doctoral student Nicolas Avisse and Professor Amaury Tilmant from Université Laval in Quebec. Funding for the study was provided by the National Science Foundation through the Belmont Forum and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. The Swiss National Science Foundation provided postdoctoral support.

Taylor R.G.,University College London | Todd M.C.,University of Sussex | Kongola L.,Ministry of Water and Irrigation | Maurice L.,British Geological Survey | And 3 more authors.
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2013

Groundwater recharge sustains the groundwater resources on which there is global dependence for drinking water and irrigated agriculture. For many communities, groundwater is the only perennial source of water. Here, we present a newly compiled 55-year record of groundwater-level observations in an aquifer of central Tanzania that reveals the highly episodic occurrence of recharge resulting from anomalously intense seasonal rainfall. Episodic recharge interrupts multiannual recessions in groundwater levels, maintaining the water security of the groundwater-dependent communities in this region. This long-term record of groundwater storage changes in the semi-arid tropics demonstrates a nonlinear relationship between rainfall and recharge wherein intense seasonal rainfall associated with the El Niño Southern Oscillation and the Indian Ocean Dipole mode of climate variability contributes disproportionately to recharge. Analysis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR4 and AR5 multi-model ensembles for the twenty-first century indicates that projected increases in extreme monthly rainfall, responsible for observed recharge, are of much greater magnitude than changes to mean rainfall. Increased use of groundwater may therefore prove a potentially viable adaptation to enhanced variability in surface-water resources and soil moisture resulting from climate change. Uncertainty in the projected behaviour of the El Niño Southern Oscillation and associated teleconnections remains, however, high. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Rabadi A.,Ministry of Water and Irrigation
Desalination and Water Treatment | Year: 2016

The Red Sea–Dead Sea desalination project is a joint initiative to promote regional cooperation among Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. As a result of such cooperation, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on 9 December 2013 at the World Bank in Washington DC in which all parties agreed to start the implementation of phase 1 of the project. The MoU has been followed by signing of a project bi-lateral agreement between Jordan and Israel on 26 February 2015 in which both parties have agreed on the modalities of their cooperation in all stages of the project and on management and procedures. The project aims to extract 190–300 million cubic meters per year (mcm/y) of seawater from the Red Sea and convey them via pipelines to a desalination plant north of Aqaba airport in Jordan to produce about 65–85 mcm/y of desalinated fresh water of which 35–50 mcm/y are to be supplied to Israel in the south. In exchange, Israel will supply about 30 mcm/y to the northern governorates in Jordan at a previously agreed price. Also, 30 mcm/y will be supplied to the Aqaba region, and the brine and seawater of about 110–220 mcm/y are to be discharged to the Dead Sea. Phase II comprises increase in the amount of desalinated water by construction of a second treatment plant south of the Dead Sea with a water transmission system to deliver additional fresh water to Amman. The additional quantities are yet to be defined. Ultimately, the project aims to augment Jordan’s water resources and replenish, or at least maintain, the level of the Dead Sea water, hence preserving its environment and economic benefits. To implement the RSDS regional project based on a BOT scheme, the Government of Jordan is seeking private sector participation and partnership with a capacity to build, operate and transfer of a desalination plant, water and brine pipelines, booster pump stations and provide technology and knowledge transfer to Jordanian counterparts. The capital cost of the project is expected to be approximately USD 950 million to provide 65–85 mcm of desalinated water annually. © 2016 Balaban Desalination Publications. All rights reserved.

Abu-Ghunmi L.,University of Jordan | Badawi M.,Ministry of Water and Irrigation | Fayyad M.,University of Jordan
Journal of Surfactants and Detergents | Year: 2014

Triton X-100 applications as surfactant raises concern on water and soil environment due to its non-biodegradability and inhibition effect. This paper aims at reviewing Triton X-100 biodegradability and inhibition literature. It shows Triton X-100 is biodegradable by aerobic and anaerobic municipal wastewater sludge and Vibrio cyclitrophicus-sp-Nov organism. Adsorption and biodegradation are mechanisms of Triton removal. Triton inhibits anaerobic sludge organisms and some single aerobic organisms. Inhibition mechanisms are substrate shortage, physiological membrane-damaging and/or alteration in organism cell membrane. Thus Triton X-100 fate in the environment and its sustainable application can be controlled via proper selection of organism type, Triton concentration, and substrate. © 2014 AOCS.

Abo-Hammour Z.S.,University of Jordan | Alsmadi O.M.,University of Jordan | Bataineh S.I.,Ministry of Water and Irrigation | Al-Omari M.A.,University of Jordan | Affach N.,Damascus University
International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems | Year: 2011

A novel continuous genetic algorithm (CGA) along with distance algorithm for solving collisions-free path planning problem for robot manipulators is presented in this paper. Given the desired Cartesian path to be followed by the manipulator, the robot configuration as described by the D-H parameters, and the available stationary obstacles in the workspace of the manipulator, the proposed approach will autonomously select a collision free path for the manipulator that minimizes the deviation between the generated and the desired Cartesian path, satisfy the joints limits of the manipulator, and maximize the minimum distance between the manipulator links and the obstacles. One of the main features of the algorithm is that it avoids the manipulator kinematic singularities due to the inclusion of forward kinematics model in the calculations instead of the inverse kinematics. The new robot path planning approach has been applied to two different robot configurations; 2R and PUMA 560, as nonredundant manipulators. Simulation results show that the proposed CGA will always select the safest path avoiding obstacles within the manipulator workspace regardless of whether there is a unique feasible solution, in terms of joint limits, or there are multiple feasible solutions. In addition to that, the generated path in Cartesian space will be of very minimal deviation from the desired one. © 2011 Abo-Hammour et al.

Siebert C.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Moller P.,Helmholtz Center Potsdam | Geyer S.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Kraushaar S.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | And 4 more authors.
Chemie der Erde - Geochemistry | Year: 2014

Sources and mineralization of groundwaters from Cretaceous A7/B2 and B4 limestone aquifers in the Golan and Ajloun Heights are derived from conjoint discussion of stable isotopes of water and sulphate, major ion chemistry, rare earth distribution patterns and the (hydro)geological setting. Isotope fractionation of precipitation was used to derive elevation and continental influence of recharge areas. Positive shift of δ18O and δ2H occur due to evaporation before replenishment and the interaction with basalts. Major infiltration areas for Golan Heights are the limy foothills of the Mt. Hermon and for the Ajloun Heights the Plateau itself. To a less degree, precipitation infiltrates also the basaltic catchments. Groundwaters are mineralized by water/rock (i) variably altered limestones by diagenesis, (ii) evaporates and seawater brines enclosed in limestone matrix and (iii) locally occurring basaltic intrusiva. In the Yarmouk Gorge, a deep-seated brine of the Ha'on type ascends and mixes with the fresh shallow groundwater. Contrasting the macro chemical composition, REY distribution patterns indicate the lithology of the recharge areas. Infiltration over basalts results in REY patterns distinctly different to those derived from limy catchments. REY and isotope fingerprints prove that water from the Syrian Hauran Plateau is recharging springs and wells in the lowermost Yamouk gorge. The basaltic cover of the Golan Heights is of minor importance for recharge of the underlying A7/B2 aquifer, which becomes recharged at the foothills of Mt. Hermon and gets confined southwards. Even the wells in the basaltic cover receive water from the underlying limestone aquifer. Anomalous heat flux near the Yarmouk gorge and locally in the western escarpment of the Ajloun may be produced by ascending fluids from greater depth and/or by basaltic intrusions. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH.

PubMed | SWECO, Ministry of Water and Irrigation and Intelliscience Ltd
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of water and health | Year: 2016

This paper describes management options and interventions taken by the Government of Jordan to ensure that the quality of drinking water supplied to consumers via the Disi Water Conveyance Project (DWCP) meets Jordanian drinking water standards and WHO guidelines for drinking water quality in respect of their radiological composition. Results from an initial survey of radioactivity present in water abstracted from each of the 55 wells (which comprise the operational well field) indicated an average radiological dose of 0.8 milliSieverts per year (mSv/y) would be accrued by members of the population if consuming water directly from the well head. During full scale operation, the estimated accrued dose from the well field as a whole decreased to an average of 0.7 mSv/y which was still approximately 1.4 times the Jordanian reference radiological limit for drinking water (0.5 mSv/y). Following assessment of treatment options by relevant health and water authorities, blending prior to distribution into the consumer network was identified as the most practicable remedial option. Results from monthly sampling undertaken after inline blending support the adoption of this approach, and indicate a reduction in the committed effective dose to 0.4 mSv/y, which is compliant with Jordanian standards.

PubMed | Ministry of Water and Irrigation and Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research
Type: Evaluation Studies | Journal: Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research | Year: 2015

Planners and decision-makers in the wastewater sector are often confronted with the problem of identifying adequate development strategies and most suitable finance schemes for decentralized wastewater infrastructure. This paper research has focused on providing an approach in support of such decision-making. It is based on basic principles that stand for an integrated perspective towards sustainable wastewater management. We operationalize these principles by means of a geographic information system (GIS)-based approach Assessment of Local Lowest-Cost Wastewater Solutions--ALLOWS. The main product of ALLOWS is the identification of cost-effective local wastewater management solutions for any given demographic and physical context. By using universally available input data the tool allows decision-makers to compare different wastewater solutions for any given wastewater situation. This paper introduces the ALLOWS-GIS tool. Its application and functionality are illustrated by assessing different wastewater solutions for two neighboring communities in rural Jordan.

News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

In his 49 years, Zablon Katende had never thought of leaving his hometown of Kipini in coastal Kenya. But now, looking at his dwindling mango trees, the farmer worries the harvest will not be enough to provide for his five children. “Every year there is less water,” he says, pointing at the murky Tana river which washes the shores of his village. Despite being Kenya’s longest river, the Tana is struggling to keep up with the country’s ever-growing demand for water and electricity. It is the backbone of the country’s economy, providing up to 80% of Nairobi’s water and half the country’s electricity through hydroelectric plants. Its water also irrigates thousands of hectares of cash crops such as tea, coffee and rice. However, erosion, pollution and excessive water capture are threatening the livelihoods of many who, like Katende, depend on the river. The government is currently planning to divert even more of Tana’s water for irrigation and power, but a study (pdf) by Wetlands International and the Vrije University in Amsterdam warns this management model is not ecologically sustainable. Despite concerns, Kenya’s government wants to use more of the Tana river’s resources to ensure economic prosperity for the country’s fast growing population. Known as Vision 2030, the plan includes 1m acres of monocultures, a 3km-long dam and a £28bn transportation corridor including a new port city in Lamu, near the Tana delta. Experts, however, warn the river’s resources are not unlimited. “Ignoring nature has a price,” says Julie Mulonga, programme manager of Wetlands International in Kenya. According to Mulonga, the government’s water management style focuses on the short-term benefit of industries around the capital, such as flower farms and breweries, and disregards the needs of people and animals downstream. The consequences are already being felt, especially in Tana’s delta where most locals live off fishing, raising cattle and growing sustenance crops. Without enough water, fish cannot breed, crops fail and animals are too emaciated to sell. “Without the river, nothing lives,” says Katende, who worries that the construction of another dam will mean even less water for his mango trees. Tourism is suffering, too. Tana’s delta is a wildlife refuge for hundreds of species, from hippos to monkeys. But water scarcity increases deforestation and animal poaching. What’s more, local authorities worry that competition over water will lead to violent clashes between pastoralist and farming tribes, which in 2012 resulted in 50 deaths and forced several hotels to close. The Kenyan government rejects the suggestion that their plans are putting strain on the environment, communities and business that relies on the river. “There is no need to compete over water because all economic activities on the river are complementary,” says Robinson Gaita, director of irrigation and water storage at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. Gaita is overseeing the development of a new 10,000-acre maize farm near the middle section of the Tana, which he says is already improving food security. The government recently donated 62,000 bags of maize from this plantation to communities suffering from drought in the river’s delta. As for the colossal dam, Gaita says it will actually help downstream farmers like Katende because it will give the state the ability to prevent excessive flooding and increase the availability of water in case of drought – both of which are happening more frequently because of climate change. Private businesses could have a big role to play in the Tana’s conservation. Some of the country’s largest companies, including Coca-Cola and East African Breweries, have joined the Nairobi Water Fund, a scheme which aims to raise £8m to help preserve Tana’s ecosystems by planting trees or teaching farmers better soil-management practices. Nushin Ghassmi, communications manager for Frigoken, Kenya’s largest vegetable processing company, says working with the fund is important because “preserving our natural resources is crucial for our business survival”. Coca-Cola estimates the annual water treatment and filtration costs for their Nairobi bottling plant at more than $1m. Yet even with increased corporate responsibility, the Tana will continue to deteriorate if the government does not scale down its ambitious infrastructural projects, warns Pieter van Beukering, director of the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije University. If the economic benefits are not shared equally along the river this could also increase upstream migration. “Money follows water. And people follow money,” says Beukering. Many of Katende’s neighbours have already left Kipini looking for greener pastures for their cattle or cleaner waters for their nets. “But I’m a farmer,” says Katende, “I can’t abandon my land.” Instead he has joined a local conservation group to help raise awareness about the importance of preserving the Tana. Despite this year’s failing crop, he is hopeful. “We will find a way to give water to everybody,” he says. “We have to.” Sign up to be a Guardian Sustainable Business member and get more stories like this direct to your inbox every week. You can also follow us on Twitter.

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