Desalination. Saudi Arabia is the largest producer of desalinated water in the world. In 2011 the volume of water supplied by the country’s 27 desalination plants at 17 locations was 3.3 million m3/day (1.2 billion m3/year). 6 plants are located on the East Coast and 21 plants on the Red Sea Coast.

The Red Sea–Dead Sea Conveyance, sometimes called the Two Seas Canal, is a planned pipeline that runs from the coastal city of Aqaba by the Red Sea to the Lisan area in the Dead Sea. It will provide potable water to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, bring water with a high concentration of salts resulting from the desalination process (reject brine) to stabilise the Dead Sea water level, and generate electricity to support the energy needs of the project. The project is going to be carried out by Jordan and is entirely in Jordanian territory. The project will be financed by the governments of Jordan, Israel,[1] and a number of international donors.

The water level in the Dead Sea is shrinking at a rate of more than one metre per year, and its surface area has shrunk by about 30% in the last 20 years. This is largely due to the diversion of over 90% of the water of the Jordan River. In the early 1960s, the river moved 1,500 million cubic metres of water every year from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. Dams, canals, and pumping stations built by Israel, Jordan and Syria now divert water for crops and drinking, and have reduced the flow to about 100 million cubic metres a year (MCM/yr), and even that mainly brackish water and sewage.

The decline of the Dead Sea level is creating major environmental problems, including sink holes and receding sea shores. Other routes for a conduit for the same objectives as the Red – Dead Conduit, the Mediterranean–Dead Sea Canal, were proposed in Israel in the 1980s, but were discarded. The project costs $10 billion in all of its phases, with the first phase, which is slated to begin construction in 2021, will cost $1.1 billion. The Jordanian government is currently in the process of shortlisting consortiums and waiting for the final feasibility study, for which international funding would follow.

March 18th, 2017: AMMAN — The Kingdom’s first water desalination plant opened in Aqaba Saturday, set to work at a capacity of 500 cubic metres per hour, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The plant, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Hani Mulki, will be running in affiliation with the KEMAPCO Arab Fertilisers and Chemicals Industries, one of the companies under the Arab Potash Company’s (APC) umbrella, Petra reported. 

The desalination project was implemented by KEMAPCO on the principle of build-operate-transfer (BOT). This formula of public-private partrnership allows the state to recover its investment after a set period of time. In this case, it is seven years, and when the firm transfers it to the government, it will be helping the Ministry of Water and Irrigation run the facility.

APC’s Chairman Jamal Sarayrah said the project aims at desalinating Red Sea water with the support of the Water Ministry and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, Petra reported. 

The clean water it will generate, estimated at around 5 million cubic metres annually, will be used for drinking purposes, agricultural and industrial needs, Sarayrah added.

Water Minister Hazem Nasser said the project, which would meet Aqaba’s water needs until the year 2035, is to be fully supplied with renewable energy sources, with the methane gas emitted by the plant and solar energy to generate electricity for the entire project. 

The plant will provide the same amount of water as the Disi project, the main water conveyance project that brings water to Amman from Disi aquifer in the southern desert.

Sarayrah noted that his company used to consume around a million cubic metres annually from Disi water. 

The biggest portion of water will be pumped into the Aqaba Water Company network to be distributed to consumers, the top executive said, adding that the project was totally handled by Jordanian workers. It will also cover the water needs of KEMPACO, the fertiliser production arm of APC. 

Also on Saturday, Mulki attended the signing ceremony of a deal to expand Aqaba’s sewage water treatment plant, as well as agreements to execute the Wadi Rahma and Wadi Feidan dams by the Wadi Araba Development Company in Reisha area.

The Disi Water Conveyance Project is a water supply project in Jordan. It is designed to pump 100,000,000 cubic metres (2.2×1010 imp gal) of water per year from the Disi aquifer,[1] which lies beneath the desert in southern Jordan and northwestern Saudi Arabia. The water is piped to the capital, Amman, and other cities to meet increased demand. Construction began in 2009 and was mostly completed in July 2013 when the project was inaugurated by King Abdullah of Jordan.[2] Its total cost was US$1.1 billion.

An independent study revealed the water to be radioactive and potentially dangerous to drink, initially surrounding the project with controversy.[1][3] Jordan’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation has stated that the radioactivity is not a problem because the water is to be diluted with an equal amount of water from other sources, although it remains disputed if this would be enough to bring the water up to standards.[1] The Ministry said the independent study was inaccurate, as it did not test water from any of the wells that will be used in the project.[4] The President of the Jordanian Geologists Association Bahjat Al Adwan stated that the radiation is present in the water in the form of Radon, and thus dissipates harmlessly when the water is exposed to air on the surface.[5]

The Disi aquifer currently supplies Aqaba with 15 million cubic meters of water per year.

The water in the Disi aquifer gathered 30,000 years ago during the Pleistocene era. It is 320 kilometres (200 mi) long and located 500 metres (1,600 ft) below ground inside of porous sandstone.[6] The aquifer is classified as a fossil aquifer, meaning that the water is not replenished if it is removed. In fact, the aquifer has a recharge rate of 50,000,000 m3 (1.1×1010 imp gal) of water per year. This recharge is dwarfed, however, by the current extraction rate of 90,000,000 m3 (2.0×1010 imp gal) for agricultural and domestic needs, including 15,000,000 m3 (3.3×109 imp gal) of water that is supplied to Aqaba, Jordan.[7] The current extraction rate of 90,000,000 m3 (2.0×1010 imp gal), coupled with the future extraction rate of 100,000,000 m3 (2.2×1010 imp gal) for the project,[1] is expected to produce a total extraction rate of 190,000,000 m3 (4.2×1010 imp gal). At that rate, the water in the aquifer will last a minimum of 50 years, according to the Disi Water Company.[8]

Only a small portion of the Disi aquifer lies beneath Jordan, while the majority lies beneath Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia also extracts water from the aquifer (called the Saq aquifer in Saudi Arabia).[9] The aquifer has created controversy between Saudi Arabia and Jordan, with each country demanding the other to use less of the shared water. There is no formal agreement between the countries regarding the water and the Disi Water Conveyance Project is being constructed without Saudi consultation or involvement.[6]

Non-revenue water is a serious problem in Amman. Currently, 40% of water in Amman is lost as non-revenue water. The city rations water, with individual residents averaging 36 hours of water access weekly. If the non-revenue water problem remains, it is possible that a large portion of the water provided by the Disi Water Conveyance project will also be lost as it is piped through Amman.[10]

The Disi Water Conveyance project was first proposed in the 1990s, but was initially regarded as too expensive. A feasibility study was completed in 1996.[11] But it was not until 2007 that the Jordanian Government was able to contract a firm to begin construction.[12


The water will be used to meet growing demand from Jordan’s capital, Amman.

The project proposed by the Jordanian government will pump 100,000,000 m3 (2.2×1010 imp gal) of water per year from 55 wells in the aquifer.[1][8][13] However, a total of 64 wells will be drilled, the extra wells to be used as piezometers to measure the elevation of the water.[8] Nine of the 55 water producing wells will be used in emergencies only. The wells producing water will be drilled 600–700 m (2,000–2,300 ft) deep while the piezometers will be drilled to a depth of 400 m (1,300 ft).[8] The plan is to pump the piezometer wells for 25 years, according to the project leader.[1]

After being pumped from the wells, water will then be transported to Amman, via a 325 km (202 mi) pipeline, passing through a pumping station, then flowing by gravity and being pumped up again. The reservoirs near Amman are only 200 m (660 ft) higher than the surface area where the pumping field is located. Nevertheless, the total elevation differential over which water needs to be lifted by both pumping stations is about 800 metres (2,600 ft).[14] To pump the water through the proposed pipeline will require 4 kilowatt-hours per cubic meter of water. The entire project would require approximately 4 percent of Jordan’s current electrical production. The project is expected to be completed by January 2017 and to run for 25 years or until the Two Seas Canal is built.[1]

The 100,000,000 m3 (2.2×1010 imp gal) of water will be divided between the Abu Alanda reservoir and the Dabouq reservoir. Approximately 40,000,000 m3 (8.8×109 imp gal) of water will be sent to the Abu Alanda reservoir where it will be diluted with water from the Zara Ma’en desalination plant as well as water from Wala. The remaining 60,000,000 m3 (1.3×1010 imp gal) of water will be sent to the Dabouq reservoir where it will be diluted with water from the Zai Treatment Plant as well as water from Wala.[1] It is estimated that the cost of one cubic meter of water from the project will be 0.74 JOD (US$1.05).[13]

In June 2009, the Turkish firm GAMA began construction.[15] By February 2011, eight piezometer wells and two water producing wells have been completed. Twenty-three other wells were to be drilled, and 85 km (53 mi) of pipe were to be installed.[8] By April 2011, 99% of the 340 km (210 mi) of project’s piping had arrived from Turkey, an anonymous source told The Jordan Times. This source stated that the project was over 50% completed and that it was ahead of schedule.[16]

A traditional Bedouin man in Southern Jordan

Construction was delayed by disgruntled members of a Bedouin tribe living in the area, who allegedly intimidated workers by shooting in the air and at construction equipment. All work was stopped for two weeks after two employees were killed in January 2011 — allegedly murdered by a member of the Bedouin tribe.[17][18] The tribe had been upset because GAMA did not rent its water tankers, according to Adnan Zu’b, Assistant Secretary Genera at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. To satisfy the tribe, GAMA then announced plans to rent tankers from the tribe.[17] However, near the site of the killings, the town of Ma’an had protests against the government’s failure to punish the killers.[18] During October and November, 2011 the construction works have been suspended at southern part of the project from Hasa to Mudawwara due to security problems created by tribes, therefore there is delay in this part which will affect the completion date of the project.

Radioactivity concerns

The project became controversial in 2009 when a study performed by Avner Vengosh of Duke University revealed the Disi water to be highly radioactive. Water was tested from 37 existing wells in the aquifer, and all but one had concentrations of radioactive radium-226 and radium-228 isotopes that exceeded international standards for drinking water.[1] Some of the water tested exceeded standards by 2,000%.[3] Drinking water with these isotopes has been linked to bone cancer and leukemia.[30] Though expensive, the water could be purified of the radioactive isotopes through ion-exchange purification.[1]

Jordan’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation has stated that the radioactivity is not a problem because the water is to be diluted with an equal amount of water from other sources. This dilution would presumably halve the radioactivity of the water which, according to Vengosh’s data, would not be enough to bring the water up to standards.[1] The Ministry of Water and Irrigation, however, has declared Vengosh’s data to be inaccurate, as his study did not test water from any of the wells that will be used in the project. As radiation varies from well to well, it is possible that the data Vengosh collected does not accurately reflect the water sources to be used in the project.[4]

Although testing at the well sites that supply Aqaba reveals high radioactivity, testing performed using water from the tap in Aqaba shows the water to be safe. There is no confirmed explanation for this phenomenon, although it is hypothesized that the depth of the wells (the ones that supply Aqaba are relatively shallow) may play a role as the radiation varies greatly at shallow depths.[1] In May, 2011, the President of the Jordanian Geologists Association Bahjat Al Adwan stated that the radiation is present in the water in the form of Radon, and thus dissipates harmlessly when the water is exposed to air on the surface.[5] This explanation has not been confirmed scientifically, however.[31]

During the inauguration of the conveyor in July 2013 Minister of Water and Irrigation Hazim El-Nasser said that after mixing Disi water radiation is less than 0.5 millisievert per year. The worldwide average natural dose of human’s exposure to radiation is about 2.5-3 millisievert per year. “Disi water is purer than bottled water and I take full responsibility for what I’m saying,” the Minister said during a press conference.[2]

This is a list of rivers in Egypt.

Nile (JEOR)

There is only one year-round river in Egypt, the Nile. It has no non-seasonal tributaries for its entire length in Egypt, though it has two further upstream, the Blue Nile and White Nile, which merge in central Sudan.

In the Nile Delta, the river splits into a number of distributaries and lesser channels. In ancient times there were seven distributaries, of which only two are extant today due to silting and flood relief schemes; from east to west, they were:

  • the Pelusiacas
  • the Taniticasa,
  • the Mendesian,
  • the Phatnitic (extant; now the Damietta or Damyat),
  • the Sebennyticana,
  • the Bolbitinicanadia,
  • the Canopicias (extant; now the Rosettasa or Rashida).

The Nile is intersected by a number of normally dry tributaries or wadis which traverse the Eastern Desert. The wadis drain run-off rainfall from the mountains along the Egyptian Red Sea coast, though it only rarely reaches the main trunk of the wadis to flow downstream to the Nile. The three principal wadis are:

  • Wadi Abbad (drainage area 7,000 km²)
  • Wadi Shait (length 200 km, drainage area 10,000 km²)
  • Wadi El-Kharit (length 260 km, drainage area 23,000 km²)


Sinai haspe Mukattab]] (“The Valley of Writing”) and the Wadi Feiran (associated with the biblical Rephidim).


  • The Vegetation of Egypt, pp. 192, 253. M. A. Zahran, A. J. Willis. Springer, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4020-8755-4

Flooding Cycle of Nile

The flooding of the Nile is the result of the yearly monsoon between May and August causing enormous precipitations on the Ethiopian Highlands whose summits reach heights of up to 4550 m (14,928 ft). Most of this rainwater is taken by the Blue Nile and by the Atbarah River into the Nile, while a less important amount flows through the Sobat and the White Nile into the Nile. During this short period, those rivers contribute up to ninety percent of the water of the Nile and most of the sedimentation carried by it, but after the rainy season, dwindle to minor rivers.

These facts were unknown to the ancient Egyptians who could only observe the rise and fall of the Nile waters. The flooding as such was foreseeable, though its exact dates and levels could only be forecast on a short term basis by transmitting the gauge readings at Aswan to the lower parts of the kingdom where the data had to be converted to the local circumstances. What was not foreseeable, of course, was the extent of flooding and its total discharge.

The Egyptian year was divided into the three seasons of Akhet (Inundation), Peret (Growth), and Shemu (Harvest). Akhet covered the Egyptian flood cycle. This cycle was so consistent that the Egyptians timed its onset using the heliacal rising of Sirius, the key event used to set their calendar.

The first indications of the rise of the river could be seen at the first of the cataracts of the Nile (at Aswan) as early as the beginning of June, and a steady increase went on until the middle of July, when the increase of water became very great. The Nile continued to rise until the beginning of September, when the level remained stationary for a period of about three weeks, sometimes a little less. In October it often rose again, and reached its highest level. From this period it began to subside, and usually sank steadily until the month of June when it reached its lowest level, again. Flooding reached Aswan about a week earlier than Cairo, and Luxor 5 – 6 days earlier than Cairo. Typical heights of flood were 45 feet (13.7 metres) at Aswan, 38 feet (11.6 metres) at Luxor (and Thebes) and 25 feet (7.6 metres) at Cairo.[

Headwater Diversion Plan
Main article: Headwater Diversion Plan (Jordan River)

First summit of Arab Heads of State was convened in Cairo between 13–17 January 1964, called by Nasser the Egyptian president, to discuss a common policy to confront Israel’s national water carrier project which was nearing completion. The second Arab League summit conference voted on a plan which would have circumvent and frustrated it. The Arab and North African states chose to divert the Jordan headwaters rather than the use of direct military intervention. The heads of State of the Arab League considered two options:

The diversion of the Hasbani to the Litani combined with the diversion of the Banias to the Yarmouk,
The diversion of both the Hasbani and the Banias to the Yarmouk.

The Arab league plan selected was for the Hasbani and Banias waters to be diverted to Mukhaiba and stored.[80] The scheme was only marginally feasible, was technically difficult and expensive. Arab political considerations were cited to justify the diversion scheme.[88] In January 1964 an Arab League summit meeting convened in Cairo and decided:

The establishment of Israel is the basic threat that the Arab nation in its entirety has agreed to forestall. And Since the existence of Israel is a danger that threatens the Arab nation, the diversion of the Jordan waters by it multiplies the dangers to Arab existence. Accordingly, the Arab states have to prepare the plans necessary for dealing with the political, economic and social aspects, so that if necessary results are not achieved, collective Arab military preparations, when they are not completed, will constitute the ultimate practical means for the final liquidation of Israel.[89]

After the 2nd Arab summit conference in Cairo of January 1964 (with the backing of all 13 Arab League members), Syria in a joint project with Lebanon and Jordan, started the development of the water resources of Banias for a canal along the slopes of the Golan toward the Yarmouk River. While Lebanon was to construct a canal form the Hasbani River to Banias and complete the scheme.[90][89] The project was to divert 20 to 30 million cubic metres of water from the river Jordan tributaries to Syria and Jordan for the development of Syria and Jordan.[89][91] The Syrian construction of the Banias to Yarmouk canal got under way in 1965. Once completed, the diversion of the flow would have transported the water into a dam at Mukhaiba for use by Jordan and Syria before the waters of the Banias Stream entered Israel and the Sea of Galilee. Lebanon also started a canal to divert the waters of the Hasbani, whose source is in Lebanon, into the Banias. The Hasbani and Banias diversion works would have had the effect of reducing the capacity of Israel’s carrier by about 35% and Israel’s overall water supply by about 11%. Israel declared that it would regard such diversion as an infringement of its sovereign rights. The Finance of the project was through contributions by Saudi Arabia and Egypt.[80] This led to military intervention from Israel, first with tank and artillery fire and then, as the Syrians shifted the works further southwards, with airstrikes.

Leabright's Blog

Just another weblog is the best place for your personal blog or business site.