National Agricultural Information System
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Laws and Agreements
Underground Water Regulation No. 85 of 2002.
13 August 2002

This Regulation is composed of 44 articles. Articles 1 and 2 deal with terms and definitions. Article 3 decrees that the underground water shall be owned and controlled by the State and the extraction or utilization thereof shall be prohibited unless previous licences. This Regulation further decrees that the ownership of land does not necessarily imply the ownership of the underground water. Licences for the extraction of water shall be considered merely as a permit to utilize water at conditions specified within licences. Article 4 defines duties of the competent authorities which are: (a) the Minster shall undertake technical studies, discover water resources, monitor the quality and quantity thereof, identify of the resources and the utilization thereof; (b) the Authority’s Board of Directors shall determine the maximum quantity of underground water allowed to be extracted annually from each underground water basin within the limits of safe yield; and, (c) the Authority’s Board of Directors shall determine the regulatory measures for ensuring safe extraction from any water basin. Article 5 defines rights of the Competent Officials, nominated by the Minister or the Secretary General, to enter any land in order to conduct studies, investigate or collect information related to underground water or to carry out any measures required by this By-Law. Article 6 entrust the Council of Ministers the right to define areas where it shall be prohibited to drill wells. Article 7 decrees that the rules governing the construction of public and private water wells, methods of the use of the extracted underground water, and quantities thereof shall be fixed by resolutions from the Board upon the submission of the Minister. Articles 8-10 deals with licences for well drilling and water extraction. Article 11 specifies prohibited activities by owners or possessors of private wells which are: (a) to irrigate or use water for purposes not specified extraction licences or to sell water for irrigation purposes; and, (b) to sell water extracted from wells by water-tankers for drinking purposes or any other purpose without obtaining a prior written approval from the Secretary General, or his delegate, and according to conditions outlined for this purpose. Articles 13 and 14 provides for rights of the Water Authority. Article 16 defines measures and steps to be taken by the Authority’s Board of Directors in case of pollution or depletion of any area. Article 17 lists decisions that may be taken by the Authority’s Board of Directors, in particular: (a) cancellation and revocation of drilling or extraction licences; and, (b) cancellation or amendment of licence conditions. Article 18 defines measures to be taken against owners who do not abide by licence’s conditions. Article 21 deals with applications for drilling-licences. Article 24 prohibits the issuance of licences for drilling wells for industrial or tourist purposes. Articles 25-27 define distances between wells, between wells and springs, and requirements for substituting old wells with new ones. Article 29 contains information and conditions for the issuance of licences for water extraction including: maximum quantity of water to be extracted; purpose of the water use; maximum area to be irrigated; installation costs to be at the expense of the owner of the well; and, the keeping of a register by the licensee. Article 33 establishes the validity of a licence to be one year, renewable. Articles 37-39 deal with licence fees, water prices and service charges. Articles 40-44 contain final and transitional provisions.

Descriptors (Water): groundwater; institution; irrigation; pollution control; public water; research; royalties; water charges; water rights; well sinking/boreholes; concession; registration; authorization/permit; offences/penalties