Efficient and sustainable management of water resources in Jordan

Project description

Title: Management of water resources in Jordan
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Jordan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Water and Irrigation
Overall term: 2019 to 2021

Context

Jordan suffers from acute water shortages due to low rainfall, high population growth and inefficient management of water resources. The amount of renewable water resources available annually is around 60,000 litres per person – one third of actual consumption. This makes Jordan one of the ten most water-poor countries in the world. Most water is used for agricultural irrigation (65 per cent as of 2017).

Protecting water resources is extremely important in Jordan. Better infrastructural planning is required and water must be used more carefully in agriculture. The project supports the government and water utilities in working more efficiently.

Objective

The three state water institutions are controlling the management of limited water resources more effectively.

Approach

The project is working in five fields of activity.

A national water management plan is in preparation. It is based on current data and models for long-term resource availability. It is developing options to sustainably reconfigure the water infrastructure. The increased use of desalination technologies plays a role in this process. The project is working together with the responsible departments of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI), the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ) and the Jordan Valley Authority (JVA), and also with the water utilities, and jointly, technical planning capabilities are being strengthened.

In order to make irrigation in the Jordan Valley more efficient and improve water savings, the project is supporting the JVA in establishing expert water user communities. These communities will coordinate water distribution and maintain the irrigation systems. In future, the increased accountability of users is designed to make irrigation more flexible and cost-effective, and to reduce losses.  

Improved management is required for water supply companies to operate more effectively. A new system for recording performance is providing reliable data so that the WAJ can enforce effective regulation.

In addition, the private sector will play a greater role. To make the field more attractive for private companies, the project is advising WAJ on developing viable business and contract models. In this context, privatisation of the water supply is not the aim, but rather that it will receive support from private companies to an extent.

Furthermore, leadership and management capacities in the MWI and WAJ will be strengthened. This is the project’s response to the upcoming generational change in the water institutions. A training programme to promote the presence of female managers in the water services sector is being developed.