Former minister urges government to pursue “Water for Energy” project

Amid depletion concerns and lack of experience in water sector management

King Talal dam
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — In a recent interview, head of the Agriculture and Water Committee in the Senate and former minister, Akef Ahmad Zu’bi discussed several important water-related issues in Jordan. He expressed his belief that the Jordanian government should not compromise on pursuing the "water for energy" project with the Israeli occupation. اضافة اعلان

The project aims to build solar energy facilities on Jordanian lands, desalinate water from the Mediterranean Sea, and provide 200 million cubic meters of water, which would help address Jordan's water problem. Zu’bi supports the project with the Israeli occupation and believes it has not been completely halted, Ammon News reported.

(Photos: Unsplash)

Dead Sea
Regarding the Dead Sea, Zu'bi accused Israel of causing its depletion by redirecting waters from the Jordan River to what is known as the "Israeli National Carrier.” He called for an international effort to save the Dead Sea and emphasized the need for the government to prioritize this project over smaller-scale initiatives.

A lack of experience in the field
He pointed out that Jordan has not extensively dealt with major water projects, leading to a lack of experience in the field. He mentioned that the government is currently in discussions with five alliances to select the best one for the "water for energy" project. Financial support for the project is being considered, and Zu'bi explained the allocation of funds from different sources, including the General Social Security Corporation and loans.

Zarqa River
Regarding the Zarqa River, Al-Zu'bi highlighted its pollution and lack of government concern, attributing this to social problems and weak law enforcement. He stressed the need for determination and law enforcement to prevent factories from disposing of waste into the river and emphasized the importance of rehabilitating the Zarqa River and its associated springs.

Scarcity of international sources
The root of Jordan's water problem lies in the scarcity of internal sources. Jordan relies heavily on groundwater and rainwater, but due to overexploitation, 150 percent depletion of regular groundwater has occurred.

Zu'bi explained the country's water budget, stating that new water projects need to be considered to meet the required amounts after implementing the National Carrier project.

In terms of water sector management, he highlighted the challenges Jordan faces, as major projects have not been implemented in the past four decades. He emphasized the need for strong government will and vision to address the water crisis effectively.