The Karamah dam inquiry
About ten years ago, the Karamah dam in the Jordan Valley was completed at a cost of over fifty million dinars. It lies at the terminus of a side valley known as Wadi Mallahah (the salty valley). Anyway, the idea was to use the dam to store excess water from the King Abdullah canal for use in the summer. Since then the dam has not been used, because the water stored in it became too salty for agriculture or domestic water use. The minister says that we will be able to use it eventually, after all of the salt has been washed out of the soils adjacent to the dam. In the mean time, we can desalinate the water. Geological studies indicate that there is a salt water aquifer beneath the dam that is supplying to the water body, so it looks like we will have to wait a while yet before the dam becomes clean of salt. The ministry of water thinks that tourists might like to come and enjoy the sight. After all, there are no large bodies of salt water in the Jordan valley that tourists might want to visit, are there?
The parliament has discovered this to be an issue, in something that I would brand a meaningless gesture. The parliamentarians are demanding to know why the project is a failure, and have set a date for next Monday to discuss the issue. Sure, good geologic studies of the area would have led to discarding this site. Sure, experts warned at the time that this is a waste of money. But what is the point? Is somebody going to give us our money back?
The point is that the country is currently contemplating a number of multi million and multi billion dinar projects such as the Disi conveyance system and the Red Dead canal project. Some experts have concerns about these projects, but none of these concerns are resonating with the public or politicians.
I guess we will read about parliamentary inquiries into currently considered projects in ten or fifteen years, when it is too late.