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Over Exploitation of Groundwater in the Centre of Amman Zarqa Basin—Jordan: Evaluation of Well Data and GRACE Satellite Observations

Applied Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Al al-Bayt University, P.O. Box 130040, Mafraq 25113, Jordan
Darmstadt Graduate School of Excellence Energy Science and Engineering, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Jovanka-Bontschits-Straße 2, Darmstadt D-64287, Germany
Department of Geothermal Science and Technology, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstr. 9, Darmstadt D-64287, Germany
Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Bonn University, Nussallee 17, Bonn 53115, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: John A. Luczaj
Resources 2015, 4(4), 819-830;
Received: 2 July 2015 / Revised: 26 October 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Quantity and Quality)
Jordan faces a sincere water crisis. Groundwater is the major water resource in Jordan and most of the ground water systems are already exploited beyond their estimated safe yield. The Amman Zarqa Basin is one of the most important groundwater systems in Jordan, which supplies the three largest cities in Jordan with drinking and irrigation water. Based on new data the groundwater drawdown in the Amman Zarqa Basin is studied. This basin is the most used drainage area in Jordan. Groundwater drawdown in eight central representative monitoring wells is outlined. Based on almost continuous data for the last 15 years (2000–2015) an average drawdown for the whole basin in the order of 1.1 m·a1 is calculated. This result is in accordance with results of previous studies in other areas in Jordan and shows that, until now, no sustainable water management is applied. Groundwater management in such a basin presents a challenge for water managers and experts. The applicability of satellite data for estimating large-scale groundwater over exploitation, such as gravity products of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, along with supplementary data, is discussed. Although the size of the basin is below the minimum resolution of GRACE, the data generally support the measured drawdown. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater drawdown; Amman Zarqa Basin; Jordan; GRACE groundwater drawdown; Amman Zarqa Basin; Jordan; GRACE
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Al-Zyoud, S.; Rühaak, W.; Forootan, E.; Sass, I. Over Exploitation of Groundwater in the Centre of Amman Zarqa Basin—Jordan: Evaluation of Well Data and GRACE Satellite Observations. Resources 2015, 4, 819-830.

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