In collaboration with the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and the Aqaba Development Company, PERSGA started in 2008 an on the ground project for supporting national capacity in online monitoring and early warning in the coastal area in Aqaba. The direct objective of the Project was to provide continuous environmental information for areas of intensive tourism investment that gain their value from the value of environment incubating them. Thus the Project included installing a system for monitoring of oceanographic variables, sea level and state as well as the atmospheric conditions. With blessings of Almighty Allah after handling a number of administrative and technical issues the system has been installed and gone in operation in October 2014.
The system consists of a floating buoy installed about 200 m offshore the northern Public Beach in Aqaba and above a depth of about 50 m. Variables that are monitored by the system include seawater temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, transparency, concentrations of chlorophyll a, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and silicate; in addition to environmental radioactivity in water and in air and solar irradiance. The system also includes a full weather station. Thus the system forms an integrated station for monitoring and early warning concerning water quality, sea level and sea state.
Recorded data is automatically transmitted to a server at Ben Hayyan Aqaba International Laboratories, where it is accessible by environmental managers and decision makers in the Project Partner Agencies in Aqaba and in Jeddah. Results are also transmitted publically on a display fixed at a lively busy site in the Aqaba City Center. The project will also open the opportunity for interested tourist enterprises to have their own displays installed at sites of their choice at their cost.
The online monitoring and early warning system is environmentally friendly as it works on solar energy and is made of material that doesn’t need repeated cleaning. The system will also serve the purpose of public awareness and outreach and will enhance the value of the authenticated environmental information to investors and users of the coastal resources in variable disciplines. PERSGA aspires to spread this initiative in other countries in the region after proven successful in Jordan.
The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden