44% of Jordanians are concerned about water issues — poll

water tanker
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The results of a poll conducted by the Arab Barometer show that 44 percent of Jordanians consider the water is one of the most prominent environmental problem facing the country.اضافة اعلان

According to water and environment experts who spoke to Jordan News, this concern is not surprising, given that Jordan is the second most water scarce country in the world.

Environmental expert Duraid Mahasneh told Jordan News that the reason for this concern “is the water shortage that we suffer from and the weakness of water projects implemented on the ground”.

He said that the parliament’s weak performance and lack of accountability in regard to the water file “led to this crisis”, stressing that the government should address the water crisis as a matter of priority.

He also stressed the need for the private sector to be involved in the implementation of water projects, as “this will attract more capital for the purpose of drilling wells or desalination”.

According to former minister of water and irrigation, Motasem Saidan, the percentage of people worried about the water situation could be “60 percent or more, based on the existing and expected shortage of water in the next few years”.

Chairman of the Jordan Environmental Union Omar Shoshan said that “the water crisis is due to drought and the disparity in rainfall in the different regions of the country, with the southern region not getting more than 37 percent”.

He believes the dams in the south dried up because of weak precipitation, the rise in temperatures, and water violations.

He added that 13 aquifers in the Kingdom “have declined because there is no water feeding them”, and that due to evaporation, the level of water in dams is also dropping.

According to Shoshan, the per capita share of water in Jordan is decreasing “due to climate changes and an increase in the population”.

“The per capita share of 140 cubic meters per year may decrease to 90 cubic meters if Jordan does not implement the National Water Carrier Project, which will supply 350 million cubic meters per year,” he said, stressing the need for water projects to support development plans and to make Jordan water stable.

Susan Kilani, water management specialist, stressed that rising temperatures increase evaporation and lack of precipitation “weakens water sources”.

She also blamed some practices “made by irresponsible people” who destroy the environment, and build on the course of waterways.

To deal with this problem, “it is necessary to have laws and control these illegal actions strictly, since the penalties are not commensurate with the extent of damage inflicted”, she pointed out.

Kilani said that “we must take immediate steps in order to preserve the current resources and enhance the efficiency of usage”, stressing the “need to use technology to ration water”.

She noted that “unprecedented recklessness” contributed to depleting aquifers.

“In a meeting of water experts at Stanford University, it was mentioned that controlling violations of water sources is more important than finding new sources,” she said.

According to Kilani, if the situation continues as it is, 50 percent of the Jordanian population will have a share of less than 40 cubic meters per year.

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