The Jordan valley authority (JVA) was established in 1977 with a mandate for the integrated development of the Jordan Valley encompassing all aspects of life. In 1988 JVA became part of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI).
The Jordan Valley Authority manages, and protects water and land resources and their supporting infrastructure in the Jordan Valley in an environmentally and economically sound manner, in the Jordanian national interest, through creating partnership with the private sector where appropriate.
Empowered by its special law, JVA was representing the Jordanian Government in the valley with a broad spectrum of authority and administrative and financial autonomy to perform its activities in an untraditional manner.
During the last 30 years, JVA completed numerous infrastructure projects including electricity, communications, roads, schools, health centers, government and residential buildings, in addition to its core activities in land and water resources development.
The population in the valley increased substantially from 70,000 in the early 1970’s to 300,000 inhabitants to date. Land was reclaimed and divided into irrigated farm units. Around 10,000 farm units, each with an area of 30-40 dunums, were distributed to farmers.
Water resources were developed through the construction of dams, King Abdullah Canal and pressurized irrigation networks.
Presently, JVA is focusing its efforts on water and land resources development, management and protection. In addition to tourism development and promotion in the Jordan Valley.
· Six dams were constructed in the northern and middle Ghors with a storage capacity of 160 mcm. The six dams include: Wadi Arab, Ziglab, King Talal, Karamah, Shueib, and Kafrein.
· Three other dams: Tannour, Wala and Mujib were constructed in the southern Ghors with a total storage capacity of 57.3 mcm.
· Wehda dam is being constructed at the Yarmouk river to store 110 mcm for domestic and irrigation purposes.
· King Abdullah Canal was expanded to reach 110 kms.
· Irrigation projects were constructed to irrigate a total area of 360,000 dunums.
Consecutive droughts and increased water demand on fresh water for domestic use, have necessitated the efficient management of water resources.
A modern Water Management Information System (WMIS) and a Dynamic Regulation and SCADA system help JVA to manage its water resources including KAC efficiently.
Marginal water (Brackish and Reclaimed) is being increasingly used in irrigation to compensate for the shortage in fresh water. Guidelines are being prepared for its use in agriculture in an environmentally safe and economically viable manner.
Farmers are advised to introduce through pilot projects to improve on-farm water use efficiency. They are encouraged to participate in the water distribution activities through water user associations, which resulted in the reduction of illegal water use and unaccounted for water.
· The development of water resources of the Jordan Valley and their utilization for purposes of irrigated agriculture, domestic and municipal uses, industry, hydropower generation and other beneficial uses. Also, the protection and conservation of these resources, and the implementation of all works related to the development, utilization, protection and conservation thereof, including:
o Conducting studies required for evaluation of water resources including hydrological, hydro geological and geological studies, drilling of explanatory wells and installation of observation wells.
o Planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of irrigation projects and related structures and works of all types and purposes including dams and appurtenant works, pumping stations, reservoirs and water conveyance and distribution networks, surface and subsurface drainage works, flood protection works, and roads and building needs for operation and maintenance.
o Soil surveys and classification, and the identification and reclamation of lands for use in irrigated agriculture, and dividing them into farm units.
o Settlement of disputes arising from the use of water resources.
o Organize and direct the construction of private and public wells in coordination with the Water Authority Of Jordan.
o Develop and improve the environment and the living conditions in the Jordan Valley, and implement the related works including:
§ Setting rules and regulations for areas of land on which construction of buildings is permitted, setback lines, rights of way, etc., outside towns and villages borders.
§ Development of lands planned for use as residential, industrial, agricultural and other zones.
· Planning, design and construction ~ farm roads.
· Development of tourism in the Jordan Valley including construction of touristic and recreational facilities.
· Social development of the Valley inhabitants including the establishment of private institutions in order to help them contribute to the development of the Valley and to the achievement of the development objectives.
· Additional development activities as requested from the cabinet.