Changes in groundwater levels and salinity in six groundwater basins in Jordan were characterized by using linear trends fit to well-monitoring data collected from 1960 to early 2011. On the basis of data for 117 wells, groundwater levels in the six basins were declining, on average about -1 meter per year (m/yr), in 2010. The highest average rate of decline, -1.9 m/yr, occurred in the Jordan Side Valleys basin, and on average no decline occurred in the Hammad basin. The highest rate of decline for an individual well was -9 m/yr. Aquifer saturated thickness, a measure of water storage, was forecast for year 2030 by using linear extrapolation of the groundwater-level trend in 2010. From 30 to 40 percent of the saturated thickness, on average, was forecast to be depleted by 2030. Five percent of the wells evaluated were forecast to have zero saturated thickness by 2030. Electrical conductivity was used as a surrogate for salinity (total dissolved solids). Salinity trends in groundwater were much more variable and less linear than groundwater-level trends. The long-term linear salinity trend at most of the 205 wells evaluated was not increasing, although salinity trends are increasing in some areas. The salinity in about 58 percent of the wells in the Amman-Zarqa basin was substantially increasing, and the salinity in Hammad basin showed a long-term increasing trend. Salinity increases were not always observed in areas with groundwater-level declines. The highest rates of salinity increase were observed in regional discharge areas near groundwater pumping centers.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Groundwater-level trends and forecasts, and salinity trends, in the Azraq, Dead Sea, Hammad, Jordan Side Valleys, Yarmouk, and Zarqa groundwater basins, Jordan
U.S. Geological Survey
Pennsylvania Water Science Center
Report: viii, 80 p.; Executive Summary: 11 p.; ZIP of all files