Refugee crisis in Jordan: supporting water providers

Project description

Project title: Strengthening the resilience of water utilities
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Jordan
Lead executing agency: Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ)
Overall term: 2015 to 2018

Jordan. Meeting with colleagues. Where is there room for improvement at Jordan's water utilities? © GIZ

Context
The influx of more than 655,000 registered Syrian refugees to Jordan to date is putting the country's water supply under considerable pressure. Particularly in the north of the country, where the majority of refugees are currently living, the demand for drinking water has risen significantly.

Since 2011, the state utility Yarmouk Water Company (YWC), which is responsible for supplying water in northern Jordan, has more than doubled water production in the affected regions. YWC has thus been able to secure a water supply for the rapidly growing population, albeit at considerable extra cost. The water tariffs set by the state do not cover current production costs, and the citizens' payment behaviour deteriorated during the Arab Spring. The company's overall debts have risen dramatically. The cost recovery rate for operating costs is now 52 per cent, and supply operations can only be maintained through government subsidies. This is jeopardising the water supply for the population, including the refugees, in northern Jordan. YWC does not have adequate business management capacity.

Objective
The business management capacity of the public water utility Yarmouk Water Company has improved.

Approach
In cooperation with Dorsch International Consulting, the project is assisting the public water utility YWC in introducing performance-based service contracts in the wastewater management sector for household connections to the wastewater network.

GIZ is advising YWC on the main commercial and administrative corporate processes, including finance, IT, and customer and claims management, and on the energy-efficient operation of the Wadi Shallalah wastewater treatment plant.

The replacement of defective water meters and, on the basis of that, comprehensive introduction of meter-based billing are closely linked to accounting. The project will develop a strategy to replace defective meters, and implement it with support from German financial cooperation. It will support the replacement of the meters and ensure that they are integrated into YWC's IT system.

Jordan. Improving operation and maintenance in Jordan's wastewater management. © GIZ