Jordan’s Water & Irrigation Ministry has invited consultants to submit bids for the contract to carry out a feasibility study for a groundwater basin project.

The contract will involve providing technical assistance for the feasibility of a financial mechanism for the groundwater basin scheme. Firms have until 25 July to submit bids for the tender. Jordan has received funding from the French Development Agency to go towards the cost of the feasibility study.

The consultancy contract is the second contract that the ministry has tendered for the Dead Sea groundwater basin project in recent months. In May, the ministry invited companies to submit bids for the contract to provide a groundwater-flow model of the Dead Sea basin. The project is part of the Jordan Deep Aquifers modelling project.

The Jordan Deep Aquifiers modelling project is part of Jordan’s efforts to find aquifers suitable for providing water for the kingdom. The modelling project has confirmed that there is vast groundwater resources in the deep sandstone aquifiers underneath most of Jordan. However, most of these resources are inaccessible for technical and economic reasons.

The groundwater-flow model is developed to assist in the identification of the most suitable areas for constructing new well fields to extract water.

Most of the groundwater currently extracted in Jordan for drinking and irrigation is pumped from the basalt deposits in the north-east of Amman or from the cretaceous limestone, which lies underneath large areas of the country.  

Jordan’s per capita water availability is 145 cubic metres a year, which is just 15 per cent of the internationally recognised water poverty level. Some regions suffer more than others. Jerash, which is located north of the capital, receives only 71 litres a day for each person, while Ma’an in the south has access to 230 litres a person a day.