An Integrated Hydrogeological and Remote Sensing Modeling Approach to Evaluate the Climate Change and Over-Irrigation Impact on Groundwater Depletion in North Jordan

  • Marwan Al-Raggad Water, Energy and Environment Center, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
  • Sura Al-Harahsheh Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Al Al-Bayt University, Mafraq, Jordan
  • Majed Ibrahim Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Al Al-Bayt University, Mafraq, Jordan
  • Ahmad Al-Shdaifat Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Al Al-Bayt University, Mafraq, Jordan
  • Mohammad Al-Wreikat Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Amman, Jordan
Keywords: Jordan, Arid regions, Grounwater, Geographic information system, Remote sensing

Abstract

Groundwater is an essential source of freshwater for the severely water-deprived country of Jordan. Thus, understanding abstracted amounts of the ground water is essential for sustaining this resource. More than 50% of the annual abstracted groundwater is used for irrigation, indicating the need to correctly estimate this usage and minimize the uncertainties. Thus, this study aims to assess actual groundwater abstraction in North Jordan by implementing a new geographic information system–remote sensing multi-method approach. The results are promising and show that the announced GW abstraction volumes provided by the Water Authority of Jordan and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation are not particularly accurate, especially for areas where extensive agricultural practices are present. This fact may explain the discrepancies between official reports on declining groundwater levels and the results of several studies that assessed North Jordan groundwater abstraction. This study showed that irrigation is a crucial factor that affects this discrepancy and that the crop water requirements are generally higher than what is reported by the governmental sector. The results showed a 31 MCM discrepancy between the official recorded groundwater abstraction volumes and the actual (crop-based) water consumption. Increasing the irrigation efficiency by 20% will aid in sustaining the groundwater in the study area, maintaining the current groundwater wells and save the farmers money.

Published
2021-09-02