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Irrigation in the Jordan Valley and the Workplan Of the Jordan Component Deficit Irrigation for the Mediterranean Agricultural System-DIMAS Project No. ICA3-2003-509087 By Muhammad R. Shatanawi and Sawsan al-Naber Presented for the Kick-off Meeting of the Project Held at
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Of the Jordan Component
Deficit Irrigation for the Mediterranean
Project No. ICA3-2003-509087
Muhammad R. Shatanawi and Sawsan al-Naber
Presented for the
Kick-off Meeting of the Project
Department of Agronomy, University of Cordoba
29 September – 2 ocotber, 2004
Jordan is a semi arid country located in the east of the Mediterranean. Bordered by Syria to the north, Saudi Arabia to the south. Iraq and Saudi Arabia to the east’ and Palestine and Israel to the west.
Area: 89.400 Km2
Population: 5.48 million
as of 2003
GDP: 1670 USD
Population growth: 2.84%
Jordan can be divided into three distinct regions:
1. The Jordan Rift Valley (JRV): it is part of the Great Rift Valley; JRV run from lake Taberia to the Gulf of Aqaba. The Jordan Valley is part of the JRV (Lake Taberia-Dead Sea).
2. The Pateau: Consists of the mountains and the upland plains with elevation ranging from 300m to 1200m. Average annual precipitation is 300mm.
3. The Steppe area and the desert: It represent about 90% of the country. Rainfall ranges from 35 mm to 200 mm
Jordan is considered among few countries of the world with limited water sources. The per capita share of water is less than 170 m3/c/day. The share will drop to less than 100 m3/c/day in 25 years from now when the population is doubled. The agricultural sector will be the most affected sector in the country.
295.00Water Use per Sector in Jordan (1985-2002)
World Bank (2001)
The growing deficit of water in Jordan is serious problem. Decision makers and policy planners should consider several options to alleviate the problem such as:
Areas developed for irrigated agricultural amounts to approximately 76.000 ha. Of this total 33,000 ha are in the Jordan Valley and the southern Ghors which are primary developed by the Government. The rest of the irrigated area of about 43,000 ha have been developed by the private sector in the plateau and the Badia regions depending mainly on groundwater.
The JRV consist of:
(Production in thousand tons)
The most common on-farm irrigation system is micro irrigation, which covers about 64% of the Jordan Valley area. Very limited number of farms use sprinkler irrigation while the rest (about 35%) are still using the conventional surface irrigation that is practiced in citrus and banana farms
The Division of Operation and Maintenance of JVA is in charge of irrigation water management. Farmers in the Jordan Valley submit their irrigation request for their units early in the morning to ten stage offices distributed along the Valley. The requests are processed according to supplies fed from KAC or others irrigation projects. Demands are compared with supplies and irrigation schedules are issued to ditch riders who open the lateral turnouts of open channel system or farm turnouts or intakes of piped irrigation systems.
Releases from dams are then determined taken into consideration the target level until the end of the season. In the daily water balance, uncontrolled resources (flows from Yarmouk & others side Wadis) are first used starting from south to north, then controlled resources according to per-defined schedules also from south to north. Excess water in KAC is stored in Wadi Arab Dam by back pumping. 50 MCM are pumped to Amman for municipal and industrial uses
The frequent occurrence of drought especially during recent years has put many constraints on irrigated agriculture in the Jordan Valley. The JVA has taken certain management practices and measures to ease the problem
JVA allocation system is based on dividing the year into two periods (wet period and dry period)
8 mm/day for Banana
4 mm/day for Citrus
2 mm/day for Vegetable
Farmers have different method or ways to adapt to the situation of scarcity. Some of these ways are:
From the University of Jordan
North Shouna (private orchard) and Washington Novel Orange will be used.
Site number two:
Wadi El-Yabis, a government station that belongs to National Center for Agricultural Research and Transfer of technology (NCARTT) and Shamouti orange will be used.
Site number three:
The University of Jordan Agricultural Research Station, and Eureka lemon will be used.
Citrussinensis CV. Washington Navel
Citrussinensis CV Shamouti
Citruslimon CV. Eureka
Full irrigation (FI): 4 mm/day
Deficit irrigation (DI1): 3 mm/day
Deficit irrigation (DI2): 2 mm/day