Exploiting Regional Topography and Macro-engineering to Transform Southeastern Jordanian Desert Into a Coastal Area


Osama M. Al-Habahbeh


Mechatronics Engineering Department, School of Engineering, the University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan.

Corresponding Author Email: o.habahbeh@ju.edu.jo

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Jordan has a very short coastline, which is reflected in limited and expensive coastal tourism, as well as limited marine life. Therefore, a technical proposal to transform part of the Jordanian desert into a coastal area is presented. The proposal is called: “Red Sea-Jafer Basin Pipeline (RSJBP)”; the idea is to create an artificial lake by filling Jafer Basin (JB), which is a large desert depression, with seawater pumped from Gulf of Aqaba (GoA), via a 140 km long pipeline, extending straight from GoA to JB. The design process starts by estimating the required water volume, which is 2,000 MCM and proceeds to sizing the required pipes and pumps, as well as computing flow pressure and pumping power. The results show that the project can be successfully developed and operated; the filling operation will take 3 years, at a flow rate of 51 m3/s, resulting in water depth of 8 m. In order to maintain this level, evaporated water must be compensated; it is estimated at 958 MCM/y as opposed to a recharge rate of only 23 MCM/y; therefore, every year, 935 MCM must be pumped into the Lake, at a rate of 30 m3/s. A steel pipe of 4 m diameter is found the most appropriate for this purpose. Annual pumping costs are recovered by deducting 22% from the forecasted annual revenue, resulting in an annual profit of 1.15 Billion US$. Moreover, the payback period is 3.4 years and the break-even point is 6.4 years. Indeed this macro-project will vastly impact the economy and enrich the domestic tourism scene.