Over-pumping of groundwater in Irbid governorate, northern Jordan: a conceptual model to analyze the effects of urbanization and agricultural activities on groundwater levels and salinity

  • Taleb OdehEmail author
  • Alsharifa Hind Mohammad
  • Hussam Hussein
  • Mamoon Ismail
  • Thair Almomani
Original Article


The governorate of Irbid has the highest population density in Jordan and most of its water demand is supplied by groundwater. Both natural population growth and waves of migrations increased the number of its inhabitants during the last 40 years. This population growth has increased: the amount of land covered by urban and agricultural development over this time period; and the groundwater demand by 227% due to increasing of drinking water demand, urban water usage and for agricultural irrigation. As a result of the continuous pumping, groundwater levels have decreased by about 70 m and the salinity of pumped groundwater has increased by about 1000 µS/cm in some areas. A conceptual model to account for the observed changes in groundwater levels and salinity has been developed through an integrated approach of remote sensing and geographic information systems.


Conceptual modeling Groundwater resources Jordan Water demands Remote sensing GIS 



The authors are grateful to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) of Jordan for providing the groundwater data used in this paper and to the anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful and constructive comments on how to improve the research and the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taleb Odeh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alsharifa Hind Mohammad
    • 2
  • Hussam Hussein
    • 3
    • 4
  • Mamoon Ismail
    • 5
  • Thair Almomani
    • 6
  1. 1.Prince El-Hassan bin Talal Faculty for Arid LandsThe Hashemite UniversityZarqaJordan
  2. 2.Water, Energy and Environment CenterThe University of JordanAmmanJordan
  3. 3.International Agricultural Policy and Environmental GovernanceUniversity of KasselWitzenhausenGermany
  4. 4.Water Security Research Centre and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of International DevelopmentUniversity of East Anglia (UEA)NorwichUK
  5. 5.Groundwater Basins Protection DirectorateWater Authority of JordanAmmanJordan
  6. 6.Directorate of Environment and Climate ChangeMinistry of Water and Irrigation of JordanAmmanJordan

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