Water loss in Mafraq Governorate, Jordan


Jordan is located in theMiddle Eastand covers an area of89,342 km2. The total population ofJordanis 6,508,271.Jordanis rapidly facing a severe water supply crisis due to greater demands on a finite quantity of available water. If current trends continue, it has been estimated that the country will experience a chronic water shortage by 2020. Despite these shortages, water loss in the distribution network is relatively high where it reaches 46%. Mafraq Governorate has the maximum water loss. Continuous records and data for the period 1999-2004 for Mafraq water authority were investigated for the water supply and lose. Water losses were evaluated, and suggestions were given to minimize the loss.

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Al-Ansari, N. , Al-Oun, S. , Hadad, W. and Knutsson, S. (2013) Water loss in Mafraq Governorate, Jordan. Natural Science, 5, 333-340. doi: 10.4236/ns.2013.53046.


Jordan is located in the Middle East and shares borders with Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Israel and covering an area of 89,342 km2 (Figure 1). The population of Jordan reaches 6,508,271 with an annual increase of about 128,152. Jordan is rapidly facing a severe water supply crisis brought about by an ever-increasing population placing greater demands on a finite quantity of available water (see Figure 1). The fundamental importance of water cannot be overstated. The supply of fresh potable water is essential to life, socioeconomic development, and political stability in the region. The need for a rationalized holistic management of this most vital natural resource is paramount in order to attain a sustainable society.

If current trends continue, it has been estimated that the country will experience a chronic water shortage by 2020. Although a significant scope exists to reduce the demand deficit through systematic changes to the current management, extraction, and distribution regimes, they will not be sufficient for fully satisfy the requirements; hence a need to look beyond conventional water sources is critical.

The water shortages experienced by the country of Jordan are well documented [1-3]; and the extent to which this is forecasted to worsen has also been offered a considerable attention at a national political level [4]. Various international seminars, reports, and publications have suggested a plethora of alternatives to mitigate the current and predicted future situation.

Jordan’s projected water demand is increasing with time, and it was been reported by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) that it would reach 408 MCM in 2020 [5]. Meanwhile, the World Bank [6] estimated that water deficit in Jordan will reach 360 MCM in 2004 [5].

Despite the shortages in Jordan’s water resources there, is a high percentage of water loss (see Table 1) [6]. The overall water loss reaches 122,359,974 m3, indicating that loss are 46.58% (see Table 2). The records of the Jordanian MWI indicate that Mafraq Governorate has the highest percentage of water loss (see Table 3).

Average rainfall in Jordan reaches 23 mm. It might exceed 450 mm in north west and reaches less than 50 mm in the desertic area (Figure 2). In Mafraq Governorate, the average annual rainfall reaches 132 mm.

In this research, water loss in Mafraq Governorate was been investigated. To study the causes, six years of continuous and reliable records were used (1999-2004). Sources and types of loss had been identified. Solutions are given to minimize these losses.


Mafraq Governorate covers an area of 26,541 km2, and its population reaches 275,000. Water authority in Mafraq supplies the water for Mafraq Governorate and other neighboring Governorates. This implies that the length of the water supply pipe lines reaches about 10,000 km. Water is pumped from 91 wells. Figure 3 shows the quantities of water pumping for the period 1999-2004.

Figure 1. Map of Jordan highlighting the water resources available in each region.

Table 1. Water loss in Jordan [7].

Table 2. Water loss in Jordan for the year 2004 [7].

During this period, the pumping of water from the wells reached 210,311,351 m3 with an annual average of 35,051,891 m3 (see Figure 3). It is evident that water pumping in 2003 was the lowest for the studied period. This is due to the fact that during that year, part of Mafraq water production department was split in two parts: the Badia and Mafraq. Due to the hot weather, water pumping increases during summer months (see Figure 4).

It should be mentioned however, that in addition to the water supplied through the wells in Mafraq, there is other sources which come from Zarqa city (see Table 4). The

Table 3. Percent water loss in different governorates of Jordan (1999-2004) [6].

average annual supply is 161,366 m3, and the total water supplied during the studied period was 968,200 m3. It should be mentioned however that the water supply was stopped for the period of October 2000 to April 2001 due to the pollution of the source.

The average annual quantities of water exported from Mafraq Governorate to other Governorates were

Figure 2. Average annual rainfall in Jordan.

Figure 3. Water supply of wells in Mafraq Governorate (1999- 2004).

Figure 4. Monthly water pumping from wells in Mafraq Governorate.

15,495,928 m3 for the studied period, and the total amount of water supplied was 92,975,572 m3 (see Table 5).

Figure 5 and Table 6 show the net quantities of water supplied by Mafraq Governorate to various towns and

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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