$33.3m USAID-Jordan project to improve southern water

(Photo: USAID Jordan Facebook)
AMMAN — Jordan and the US agreed on a $33.3 million joint project to improve water supplies in the southern part of the Kingdom, Al-Mamlaka TV reported.اضافة اعلان

The project will be headed by Ministry of Water and Irrigation in cooperation with USAID, an independent arm of the US government which funnels humanitarian and security assistance to US allies.

The four-year project is expected to improve the performance and efficiency of Jordan’s scarce water resources, and ameliorate the network’s infrastructure by cutting water loss by 20 percent, according to Al-Mamlaka.

The agreement was signed by Khaled Al Obaidyn, Aqaba Water Company director-general, and Andrew Lecken, head of USAID Office of Water Resources and Environment.

Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Najjar said the ministry recently endorsed a national strategy to reduce water loss nationwide by less than 25 percent.

Najjar expressed appreciation to Washington’s continuous support to the Kingdom. 

USAID funded the project with $26.453 million, while the Aqaba Water Company contributed $6.926 million.

Bashar Bataineh, the Water Authority’s secretary-general, said the agreement sets the stage for mapping out a new infrastructure plan in southern Jordan and conducting a hydraulic study to reduce water loss with the ultimate goal of providing people with additional water.

The agreement also envisages raising the capacity of the Disi water pipeline to 12 million cubic meters annually. The Disi pipeline will provide around 7 million cubic meters of water each year in the initial stages, according to Bataineh.

He said the agreement also calls for technical support to the Aqaba Water Company by improving the water treatment system in Aqaba, providing equipment, tools, and techniques needed for better sanitation services.

With USAID support and the funded program, water loss in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone is likely to fall by 20 percent, saving 9 billion cubic meters of water annually, Bataineh contended.

The agreement is the latest between USAID and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, represented by the Water Authority, the Jordan Valley Authority, Yarmouk Water Company, Miyahuna, and the Aqaba Water Company to help Jordan address water challenges and support the ministry’s water strategy in the upcoming years.

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