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Atlas of Jordan

Myriam Ababsa

Chapter one - Constraints and Resources

Potential Land Use

Myriam Ababsa

Texte intégral

1Figure I.21 is adapted from the work of Professor Awni Taimeh, a soil scientist and environmentalist from the University of Jordan. It shows potential land use in Jordan arising from the combination of soil types, rainfall and biogeography. Irrigated agriculture is limited to the Jordan Valley. The highlands of Ajlun, Irbid, Salt and Kerak have traditional mediterranean agriculture which combines ager (cereals and fruit trees) and saltus (pasture for livestock grazing), while the plateaux towards the badiya are used for rain-fed farming and livestock. Finally, the Jordanian desert is only suitable for camel breeding along the wadis (Sirhan) and in the depressions (Azraq and Jafr basins).

Figure I.21 — Jordan’s Potential Landuse.

Figure I.21 — Jordan’s Potential Landuse.

2At the time of the map’s publication in the late 1980s, Jordan’s environmental balance was endangered by considerable urban growth and the exploitation of fossil water. The urban growth of Greater Amman destroyed valuable farmland to the north and the south of the city that was traditionally planted with rain fed crops. Above all, grazing land was no longer left fallow, as was previously the tradition, resulting in significant desertification during the 20th century. The development of mechanized irrigation techniques on land traditionally reserved for livestock (near Mafraq and Ramtha and in Disi in the south of the country) had a dramatic impact on groundwater levels. In 1993 the government launched policies against desertification.

3Water Resources include all surface and groundwater resources as well as non-traditional water resources (treatment plant effluent). The main water projects (Disi, the Red-Dead canal and desalinization) will be presented in Chapter 10.


Jordan river.

Jordan river.

M. Ababsa

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure I.21 — Jordan’s Potential Landuse.
Fichier image/jpeg, 148k
Fichier image/jpeg, 88k
Titre Jordan river.
Crédits M. Ababsa
Fichier image/jpeg, 146k

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