World Bank approves $250m financing to improve local water services

1.6 million people expected to benefit from improved water services

world bank
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The World Bank has granted approval for $250 million in financing to bolster the efficiency of water services in Jordan. اضافة اعلان

This initiative will focus on rehabilitating water distribution networks, improving energy efficiency, and strengthening the drought management system in the country, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Water scarcity is a pressing issue in Jordan, making the anticipated outcomes of this project both significant and wide-reaching.

By reducing water losses, decreasing electricity usage, and enhancing water management systems, the project aims to deliver positive impacts for both people and the environment.

Wide-spread benefit
An estimated 1.6 million individuals will benefit from improved water services. Additionally, the project will fortify water system management for farmers and industries, enhancing economic productivity and bolstering the country's resilience to climate shocks.

The approved financing for the Jordan Water Sector Efficiency Project includes a $200 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and a $50 million grant from the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF).

Launched in 2016, the GCFF provides concessional financing to middle-income countries hosting a significant number of refugees. This project will specifically target areas with higher refugee populations, providing benefits to both the refugees and the host community.

Water scarcity
Jordan faces severe water scarcity, impeding the country's economic and human development. With only 97 cubic meters of available water per capita per year, the water supply falls significantly below the absolute water scarcity threshold of 500 cubic meters per capita per year.

Over the past decade, population growth and the influx of refugees have strained water service delivery. Furthermore, the combination of climate change and population growth is projected to reduce per capita water resources availability by 30 percent by 2040.

The limited water availability in Jordan is compounded by significant water losses, with over 50 percent of municipal water either leaking from pipes or going unpaid by consumers, categorized as non-revenue water (NRW).

Adopting a water strategy
To combat Jordan's water crisis and meet the escalating water demand, the country is adopting comprehensive water supply and demand-side actions along with efficiency measures.

The approved financing serves as the initial step in a proposed series of projects aimed at supporting Jordan in addressing water losses, promoting efficiency, improving service delivery, and enhancing the financial sustainability of the water sector.

Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Director for the Middle East Department, commended the proactive approach of the Jordanian government in analyzing water scarcity challenges and formulating adaptive response measures.

He stated that the new financing provides the necessary support for investment and long-term programmatic approaches to mobilize significant investments in infrastructure and institutional reform. This approach will link planning with action to enhance the efficiency and resilience of Jordan's water sector.

Key areas of the Jordan Water Sector Efficiency Project
The Jordan Water Sector Efficiency Project will focus on three key areas. Firstly, it will strive for sustainable reduction of NRW by rehabilitating water supply infrastructure, modernizing water supply systems, and engaging customers and communities. Secondly, the project will enhance energy efficiency and reduce energy supply costs.

Lastly, it will implement measures for water security and drought management, serving as a foundation for improving efficiency and adapting to climate change challenges in the water sector.

The Jordan Water Sector Efficiency Project is fully aligned with the government's Water Sector Strategy, adopted in March 2023, and the Financial Sustainability Roadmap for the Water Sector, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in November 2022.

Furthermore, the project supports the implementation of key recommendations from the Jordan Country Climate and Development Report, emphasizing water sector efficiency, loss reduction, drought risk management, promotion of water-energy nexus solutions, and water security.

Implementing measures to reduce water losses is projected to save approximately 10 million cubic meters of water.

Read more National news
Jordan News