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Locations for solar, desalination plants not determined in declaration of intent — gov't

By JT - Dec 14,2021 - Last updated at Dec 14,2021

AMMAN — Locations for desalination and solar power stations, part of the declaration of intent between Jordan, UAE and Israel for a project to exchange energy and water, have not yet been determined, the Ministry of Water said on Tuesday.

The ministry said that the project is merely about exchanging clear energy with desalinated water and does not incur any financial costs on Jordan, which will benefit through annually securing 200 million cubic metres of water without any cost, Al Mamlaka TV reported.

The project will not be implemented if the Kingdom does not receive 200 million cubic metres of water each year, and if water supplies to Jordan stop, so will the energy supplies from the Kingdom, the ministry stressed. 

The ministry pointed out that the declaration includes two interconnected projects whose implementation is void if either project is not executed, stressing that the main component in the declaration for Jordan is guaranteeing receiving 200 million cubic metres of water annually.

The ministry said the agreement entails embarking on negotiations and feasibility studies. The government has not yet reached the phase of signing a deal, and the declaration of intent needs 10 months for feasibility studies, the ministry added.

The ministry stressed that the declaration is “not a deal from all technical and legal aspects”. 

The ministry noted that Jordan was offered to enter a regional project under the auspices of the UAE, which includes producing clean energy in the region, where the Kingdom stipulated receiving desalinated water as a condition to consider joining the project. 

The ministry added that if the studies are concluded and Jordan decides to move forward with the project, desalinated water from the project is expected to arrive by 2026, which is a period that the Kingdom can endure in light of its ground well projects, improving water management and buying water from local and regional sources, as well as embarking on the National Water Carrier project.

Jordan, through diversifying water resources, seeks to reach a phase of daily water provision instead of the current system that provides households with water on a weekly basis. 

According to government data, the individual’s annual share of water in Jordan stands at 90 cubic metres for all uses at a time international water poverty line stands at 500 cubic metres, where international studies warned that this share will decline to 60 cubic metres in Jordan by 2040.

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