Bringing Life to Al-karama Dam, Jordan

Raed Bashitialshaer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingpeer-review


Jordan has one of the lowest available water supplies in the world; meanwhile Jordan has seen large increase in population and refugee’s fluxes, leading to an increase in water demand [1]. To address this unprecedented water scarcity, Jordan’s water must be used where its social and economic value is highest. Jordan must treat and reuse virtually every drop of water. It is expected to have more than 430 MCM of water deficit by the year 2020 [2]. About 80% of Jordan's water resources are used in agriculture that mainly depends on ground water. The limited resources of water have enforced the use of saline low-quality irrigation water [3]. Using low-quality irrigation water may reduce crop yields or irrecoverable damage to the environment, soils, and aquifers [4]. Therefore, effective and wise use of all water resources in irrigation practices is the only way to cope with water scarcity and the likely problems associated with the reduction in water. In addition, reclaiming of new agricultural land is needed in order to face the steadily increase of population and establishing of new communities. In this regard, modern irrigation techniques accompanied with using alternate water sources (e.g., brackish water from Al-Karama dam) are considered appropriate solutions. The Karama dam was constructed in the Jordan valley area in the year 1979, as part of the efforts to improve water harvesting, the dam considered the second largest in the Kingdom. Currently, the dam holds 40 MCM of its total storage capacity of 55MCM [5]. The dam water was designed to irrigate 100 million m2 of new reclaimed areas characterized by a high salinity and alkalinity soil in the Jordan valley area, but also to provide to provide fresh drinking water for 30,000 residence in area. However, the high fraction of salinity in the captured water (22000 ppm) made it unfit for drinking or agricultural purposes. In this work we will discuss different option for the treatment of Al-Karama water (i.e, Desalination). Furthermore, to study the effect of the dam on the surrounding environment (the effect of seepage from dam on ground water salinity and soil salinity levels) and to provide solutions from the agricultural, environmental, and social perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmerican University of Sharjah
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventThe Fifth International Conference on Water, Energy and Environment - American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 2017 Feb 282017 Mar 2
Conference number: 5


ConferenceThe Fifth International Conference on Water, Energy and Environment
Abbreviated titleICWEE/5
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Energy Systems


  • Desalination
  • water resources
  • irrigation
  • Jordan


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