It’s rained 3 days this week. Not only rain, but thunder and lightning. Something I’ve not seen in my time here. Something I’ve missed. The tense space between the flash and the deep rumbling in my chest. Bob Seeger ear worms and counting to five to figure out how far off, I sat and wondered.
Something I’ve not seen is the rain mixing with dust storms. From on high, it rains down mud, obscuring views through glass like cataracts.
Jordan is one of the most water poor countries on the planet. It’s also home to huge numbers of refugees that that has increased the population by 87% in the last ten years. They all need to cook, drink and bathe.
The people here descend from masters of water. Nabateans collected the rain into trenches and cisterns dug across much of southern Jordan. Later Roman ruins indicate pools and fountains. Public baths were a regular fixture.
Modern Jordan will proceed soon with an ambitious project to pump sea water uphill 230 kms to the north for energy and desalination. An immense expense of money and energy.
Keeping up will be a challenge.
Rain averages less than 10 inches per year,falling only for 6 months of the year. In recent times, it’s getting dryer. This year’s rainfall is less than last year’s, which was less than the year prior. A few months back, rain was so stingy that the country came within days of running out of surface water. Much of the country is on year-round water rationing.
A freshwater lake, once the size of Rhode Island and a stopover for the birds migrating from Africa to Europe has been drained to the size of a small city park.
There is a fossil aquifer hundreds of meters below. It has been there for eons sealed off by time and sandstone. It is not being replenished at any appreciable rate, and has been tapped legally and illegally. It is being drained at an unsustainable rate.
Mrs. S.A.M. remarked to someone about the rain and was informed that perhaps the cloud seeding was finally working.
“Did they just start?”
“No, they’ve been doing it for 2 years!”
We visitors often look out the window and see clouds and think ‘Oh no! Rain”, but here, when it rains it is a blessing. In a land of arid misery, the later in the seasons the rains come, the more the feeling of a miracle.
It’s raining mud, Hallelujah!