Jordan’s water stress level surpasses 80% - World Resources Institute

Water stress dam
(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN – The recent report from the World Resources Institute sheds light on the water scarcity challenge facing the Kingdom. It positions Jordan among the countries contending with water stress arising from the rising demand for water resources. According to the report, Jordan's water stress level surpasses 80 percent. This phenomenon is chiefly attributed to the detrimental impacts of climate change, which drastically reduce the availability of water supplies and deplete the invaluable resources.اضافة اعلان

The report categorizes countries experiencing "severe water stress" as those utilizing at least 80 precent of their available water supplies. Additionally, "high water stress" is described for countries using 40 to 80 percent of their water resources, Hala News reported.

The metric employed by the WRI to measure "water stress" is based on a calculation that compares water demand against the renewable supply, coupled with an analysis of the competition for local water resources. Smaller discrepancies between demand and supply signify a higher susceptibility to water scarcity.

Water challenges in Arab nations
The report highlights that a total of 25 countries, predominantly located in the Middle East and North Africa, are presently confronted with severe water stress on an annual basis. This predicament affects approximately 83 percent of the population within this region, indicating the scale of water availability concerns.

The list of these 25 countries includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, and Qatar, followed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Tunisia, Iraq, and Syria. Furthermore, Morocco and Algeria are also noted as countries grappling with elevated water stress.

The report projects that the entirety of their populations will find themselves living under the shadow of extreme water stress by the year 2050.

The national water carrier project
In light of these challenges, the government is actively pursuing the National Water Carrier Project —a venture aimed at addressing water scarcity. The initiative is designed to desalinate a substantial 300 million cubic meters of water from the Red Sea, in the city of Aqaba, which will then be conveyed to Amman through a network of strategically placed pumping stations.

The objective is to ensure a consistent supply of water to the majority of provinces, while also upholding stringent environmental considerations. The project strives for environmental sustainability by harnessing renewable energy sources for daytime operations.

The government has conducted a series of consultations and discussions with donors, financiers, and representatives from supportive nations, as well as international financial institutions and banks.

Jordan's decision to shift focus to this project follows challenges encountered in a previous undertaking—the Bahrain Carrier Project. This initiative sought to connect the Red Sea with the Dead Sea and establish a desalination plant to cater to the water needs of both Jordan and Palestine. However, the project faced impediments due to the Israeli withdrawal from its commitments.

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