This article has been adopted with permission from the SMART II website authors.
The Lower Jordan Valley is an extensive geotechnical fault systems that extends on a length of approximately 100 km from the Sea of Galilee in the North to estuary of the River Jordan in the Dead Sea in the south.
As part of the Lower Jordan Valley the SMART project region comprises and area of approximately 5.000 km² which include the Valley floor with a width of 15 km as well as numerous tributary sub basins, the so called wadis (see figure below).
The project area is flanked by mountain ridges on the eastern site along the axis Irbid-Amman-Madaba and on the western site along the axis of Nablus-Ramallah-Jerusalem-Hebron.
The Lower Jordan Valley includes, together with the Dead Sea, the lowest area on the earth surface and lies currently at 420 m below see. The topographically highest areas follow a steep ascent on the mountain ridges and reach up to 1.200 m above sea level.
To the larger urbanized areas belong Amman, Irbid, Salt and Madaba on the Jordan site as well as Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah on the western site of the Jordan River.
Climate: The climate in the project region can be categorized as arid to semi-arid. Arid condition prevails in the Jordan Valley with precipitation rates below 150 mm/a and potential evaporation rates up 2.600 mm/a. Ascending the mountainside the climate becomes semi-arid and precipitation rates of up to 650 mm/a are registered.
Consequently natural groundwater occurs only in the elevated areas of the project region.