Water storage system with anti-evaporation protection for the arid region Lower Jordan Valley

As part of a collaborative research project for wter resource management in the lower Jordan Valley, this project's participants develop water storage by means of unsaturated rock-fill that prevents capillary rising of the water and thus surface evaporation through capillary break layers.



The overall aim of the SMART collaborative project is the establishment of water resource management in the arid region comprising Jordania, Israel and Palestine. This sub-project focuses on the introduction of a newly developed water storage facility for the collection of surface water. Precipitation water is to be collected in porous stores (PS) consisting of rock-fill and adapted to terrain depressions. This water is to be protected from evaporation through a capillary break system (CBS) and subsequently to be used for irrigation. The CBS consists of artificially filled, porous, unsaturated gravel of a medium grain size (unsaturated capillary layer) and a coarse-grain layer – the coarse porosity results in a reduction of the capillary pressure and thus acts as an evaporation barrier through the interruption of the water's upward motion. The grain sizes and compositions of the fill marterial were varied over the course of then project.


  • Compared to an open basin, evaporation from the basin featuring CBS is 32 times lower: the average evaporation rate from the CBS basin lies between 0.11 mm/day (December) and 0.06 mm/day (February). The basin without capillary break system displayed evaporation rates between 3.8 mm/day (December) and 1.97 mm/day (February).
  • Using a fill with medium grain size as the intermediate layer results in the greatest reduction of evaporation.
  • Heavy rainfall can lead to saturation of the fill.
  • Two gravel fills (top and bottom), each with a thickness of 33 cm and a grain size of 2 to 5 mm, are recommended as capillary break layers.

More Project Informations

Project title:  Verbundprojekt: IWRM, Israel (ISR), Jordanien (JOR), Palästina (PLA): SMART, Teilprojekt 4: Untersuchungen an einem neu entwickelten Wasserspeichersystem mit Verdunstungsschutz (Capillary Break Technology) zur Sammlung von Niederschlagsabflüssen in Trockengebieten - Projektgebiet Shehan, Jordanien

Project number:  02WM1036

Project period:  2008 - 2010

Project region:  Germany (), Jordan

Project contact:

Frau Dr. Krümmelbein

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Source: German National Library of Science and Technology Hannover (TIB)