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Water issues in Jordan

Tapping alternatives, boosting efficiency

Wastewater treatment plant in Madaba, Jordan

The rapid economic growth and swiftly expanding populations of past decades have had an adverse impact on water resources in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East. These problems are particularly acute in Jordan, one of the world’s most arid countries. The influx of refugees from Syria and the impacts of climate change have added to the pressure on water resources in Jordan.

Well over half the water consumed is used in the agriculture sector. German development experts are therefore advising Jordan on ways to reduce water losses and tap alternative sources of water for farmers to use. One option is to use treated wastewater. Today Jordan’s farmers use treated wastewater to meet more than one fifth of their needs – and the amount is growing. Jordan wants to double this amount in the next few years. This will ease some of the pressure on the country’s over-exploited freshwater reserves and improve water supplies for almost 700,000 people.

Suppliers of drinking water are also being helped to make their operations more effective and more efficient. This reduces water losses and promotes more efficient resource management. There are campaigns and initiatives at schools and mosques to encourage people to conserve water. Germany is also supporting training for water sector staff and the establishment of pilot facilities for improved wastewater management.

Germany is helping Jordan improve energy efficiency in the water sector: the Jordanian water sector is the country’s largest user of power, accounting for 15 per cent of electricity consumption. Modernised pumping stations in selected districts have already reduced energy consumption there by one third. There are plans for these methods to be adopted by the entire country.

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