Improving the planning and operational performance of desalination plants in Jordan

Project description

Title: Desalination of Sea and Brackish Water
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Jordan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI)
Overall term: 2020 to 2024



Jordan is facing a rapid decline in conventional water resources, mainly caused by climate change and over-abstraction of groundwater. Jordan will have an estimated demand-supply gap in municipal water supply of 65 per cent by 2040.

The only long-term solution to increase the water supply is desalination. There are brackish water resources close to the main demand centres. Production costs could be kept relatively low for these compared to the much more expensive desalination of seawater. However, as there is not enough brackish water, Jordan will need both seawater and brackish-water desalination in future.

Since 2002, about 30 mostly small-scale desalination facilities have been set up, but their production levels remain far below design capacity and costs are much higher than anticipated.


The capabilities of the relevant institutions in Jordan to plan, operate and maintain brackish and seawater desalination plants are improving.



The DESAL project aims to help local institutions improve their investment planning and ultimately achieve more water supply security. By improving human resources capabilities, the aim is to have more efficient site management and reduce operational costs. Better regulatory instruments concerning licensing and environment and social impact assessments (ESIA) are being developed in order to reduce environmental damage. Measures to correct operational mistakes will not only cut operational costs but also increase the water supply.

Based on the initial situation analysis, four main outputs have been defined:

  • The planning of desalination plants has been improved.
  • A Desalination Unit has been set up and strengthened.
  • The regulation of operators of desalination plants has been strengthened.
  • The management capability of the operators of the existing desalination plants has been improved.

Last update: September 2022

Additional information