002- Human Impact
As Jordan’s population continues to rise, the increased demand for water is currently met by overdrawing ground water. This unsustainable practice is reducing the quality of water and will drain aquifers in just a few years. Much of the Azraq Oasis has been lost due to the overdrawing of its ground water, greatly impacting indigenous wildlife and migrant birds. Surface freshwater is also increasingly diverted to cities, causing the Dead Sea to shrink rapidly.
Globally, the introduction of fossil water into the hydrosphere might be responsible for up to 1/4 of the sea level rise. Of the world’s 37 largest aquifers, 21 have exceeded sustainability tipping points and are being depleted. Thirteen of them are considered significantly distressed. The most over-stressed is the Arabian aquifer system upon which more than 60 million people depend for water.
The three main aquifers in Jordan are under Amman, Azraq, and Disi (north of Wadi Rum).