The groundwater model of Jordan shows the different aquifers of the country virtually (source: BGR).
Jordan is one of the most arid countries in the world, with far less than 100 m3 of water available per capita per year, which is about one-fifth of the measure of absolute water scarcity. The country is heavily dependent on the use of its groundwater resources. Groundwater contributes to about 70% of domestic water supplies and is the major source of drinking water. Jordan relies increasingly on fossil aquifers, and some of these are transboundary. To ensure protection of these crucial resources and to enhance long-term sustainability, a detailed knowledge of the hydrogeology, especially of the fossil aquifers, is crucial for future development of the country.
The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Germany, one of the partners of the Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice (GRIPP), presented an animated groundwater model of Jordan as part of its technical cooperation with the country. The three dimensional (3D) computer animation, which can also be seen on BGR’s GeoChannel, shows the various aquifers in Jordan with a focus on the transboundary fossil Disi Aquifer. This aquifer, primarily developed in deep sandstone layers in the border area with Saudi Arabia, is increasingly relied on for Jordan’s water supply. The animation was created as part of the production of the documentary ‘Living Water’, which, among other things, also discusses the conflicts over the use of water in the border region.
Through its project Jordan – Management of Groundwater Resources, BGR supports the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) and its subordinate authorities, on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in the protection and management of scarce groundwater resources. Several key reports have been produced under this collaboration, including one summarizing the knowledge of hydrogeology and groundwater dependence in the country, which highlights the critical importance of the resource for the economy and social well-being of the population. Another report looks at identifying hotspot areas where there is a risk of present or future groundwater pollution as a result of the impacts of improper sanitation facilities. We are keenly awaiting the online release of the documentary ‘Living Water’.