300000 year old Disi aquifer to quench water shortage

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 06 April 2011

In its desperate efforts to battle chronic water shortages, Jordan, one of the world’s 10 driest countries, is mulling “unconventional” and “environmentally unfriendly” plans, experts say.

The plan is to provide the capital Amman with water for 50 years.

The challenge is huge for this tiny country where desert covers 92% of the territory and the population of 6.3 million is growing.

Critics said the government’s efforts to manage the country’s limited water resources and generate new ones are being hindered by a strategy which at best is chaotic.

Jordan is tapping into the ancient southern Disi aquifer, despite concerns about high levels of radiation, while studies are underway to build a controversial canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.

“Unconventional projects, like Disi for example, are environmentally unfriendly,” said water expert Dureid Mahasneh, a former Jordan Valley Authority chief.

Radiation

The $990m project seeks to extract 100 million cubic metres of water a year from the 300 000-year-old Disi aquifer, 325km south of Amman, officials said.

The plan is to provide the capital Amman with water for 50 years, said water ministry official Bassam Saleh, who is in charge of the project that was launched in 2008 and is due to be completed in 2012.

A 2008 study by Duke University in the US, shows that Disi’s water has 20 times more radiation than is considered safe, with radium content that could trigger cancers. Continue reading

Turning Boreholes into Sinkholes

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems
13 January 2010

Several sinkholes have opened around the Central Florida area of Plant City and two further sinkholes appeared near Lake Wales following the discovery of a larger sinkhole in the community of Frostproof.

Sinkholes can result from the over-abstraction of groundwater. Robyn Felix, spokeswoman for the Southwest Florida Water Management District said “We know that an aquifer level drop can contribute to sinkholes”

Sinkholes form when water dissolves soft limestone and creates an underground cavity. Pressure from groundwater in the cavity supports the layer of earth between the cavity and surface, said Tony Gilboy, geologist with the water management district. When the groundwater is removed, the top of the cavity collapses, creating the sinkhole.

Lowered water levels are causing problems besides sinkholes for residents around the Dover area. About 150 homeowners reported their wells are dry because the aquifer dropped too low, leaving them with no water.

Source: Herald-Tribune
Read more about “Boreholes and the Threat to Groundwater