You are here

Public urged to limit water consumption amid heightened summer demand

By Batool Ghaith - Jun 14,2022 - Last updated at Jun 14,2022

Water Minister Mohammad Najjar on Saturday warned of water supply shortages for many this summer (File photo)

AMMAN — Water Minister Mohammad Najjar on Saturday warned of water supply shortages for many this summer, underscoring the absence of drinking water sources in the southern regions.

The minister said that there is an estimated shortage of 10 million cubic metres of water compared with last year, urging the public to limit water consumption.

Najjar’s remarks came during a Water Ministry meeting with stakeholders to review the water condition this summer.

Najjar noted that water distribution is one of the main challenges facing the water sector in the Kingdom, with the increased pressure on the few available water resources.

The minister stressed the need to act immediately on the Ministry/Water Authority’s plan, which includes beginning operations of some new water sources and redistributing the sources, prioritising areas most in need.

He called for considering citizens’ demands and following up on problems they report, according to a ministry statement.

It also said that the ministry has taken deterrent measures to combat water theft cases.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association for Energy, Water and Environment (EDAMA), Dureid Mahasneh said that the main reason for water scarcity in the Kingdom is the increased population coupled with less water resources as Jordan has only enough water for 2 million inhabitants, while the population is almost 11 million.

“Regional water resources, especially those with Syria, which used to provide Jordan with 30 per cent of water is almost providing zero per cent now. There is no control on the Syrian part on how many dams they are building and drilling at the expense of the water share, among many other reasons,” Mahasneh told The Jordan Times.

According to Mahasneh, Jordan is “extremely delayed” in desalination projects.  He pointed to a lack of private sector initiatives and the dependence upon the public sector, in addition to relying on regional partners, “which is against water security, and plays a role in water scarcity in Jordan”.

“We cannot blame people for complaining about water shortages. People who used to get water once a week now only get it once every 10 days,” he said.

Hazim Al Naser, former water minister, told The Jordan Times that the Kingdom is “far below” the water poverty line (set by the UN), which affects all aspects of life such as social development, food production, environmental concerns and much more.

The prevailing climatic condition in Jordan affects water resources, Naser noted, in addition to the human element which contributed to more severe water scarcity over the last 10 years.

Wasting water as individuals, the high losses of water networks, over pumping, the overall management, financial resources and the delay of implementation of water projects increase water scarcity in the Kingdom, Naser continued.

“During summer, the demand for water is almost 30 to 40 per cent higher, which is why we must always be ready for the season and prepare years beforehand to avoid water shortages,” he said.

Water harvesting is part of the current solution for water scarcity in Jordan, as the Kingdom is one of the top countries in water storage per capita (in dams), he said.

“We need to work more on water harvesting at the household level, such as rooftoop water harvesting, as well as the introduction of smart irrigation technologies in addition to raising awareness of water preservation among the public,” Naser noted.

28 users have voted.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.