Amman- 23 December 2019

Last week marked the start of the final phase of the Restoration of the Ancient Nabataean Flood Control System in Wadi Madras at Petra Project. The project is funded by the American Ambassadors Fund for a cultural preservation project.

The conservation and preservation phase is implemented in cooperation with Sela; a local NGO involves the training of local community on the reconstruction of six check dams in Wadi Hremeyyeh. The training will take about two months. About 20 workers headed by two expert stone builders are undertaking this task, which will create about 1500 cubic meters of storage capacity for floodwaters that would have otherwise flowed into the Treasury area in Petra.

This project has been in implementation since November 2017. The U.S. Ambassadors Fund provided the Center for the Study of Natural and Cultural Heritage at GJU $150,000 for the purpose of understanding and mitigating flooding emanating from Wadi Hremeyyeh.

Work thus far has been for preparation for this penultimate stage. This has included a highly dedicated and qualified team of professionals from both inside and outside GJU who cover the specializations of geology, hydrology, archaeology, geomatics, architecture, and engineering.

The work included detailed documentation of both the drainage basin and the terraces and check dams in it (over 120 of them), modeling of the hydrology, development, and deployment of locally designed and built stream gages, choosing optimal locations for interventions and detailed design of these interventions.

The design and implementation locations were made in close cooperation with the Department of Antiquities of Jordan and the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority.

Additional funding for the completion of terraces and check dams in the whole drainage basin has been generously provided through the German Development Agency (GTZ) Cash for Work Program. This funding will allow for a substantial expansion of the project through 2020, allowing comprehensive management of flooding in Petra using traditional technologies.