Challenges of water demand management in Jordan

Junio de 2005 / Volumen 30


ISSN: 0250-8060



Water scarcity is considered one of the most important challenges facing Jordan because of the need to satisfy the municipal, industrial, and agricultural needs. The climate in Jordan reveals that more than 80 percent of its area receives less than 200 mm of rainfall. The water resources are divided into two main parts: conventional (surface and groundwater) and non-conventional (treated wastewater cloud seeding and desalination of sea water and brackish water). The major problems facing conventional water resources development are quality deterioration and resource depletion. The non-conventional resources could increase water supply enough to overcome the shortage and to satisfy the different water needs of the country. Desalination of seawater and brackish groundwater could reduce the need for additional water supply to cover the country water needs, The uses of water are divided among municipal, industrial, irrigation, and livestock uses. The irrigation sector consumes most of the water resources in the country, and there is a gradual decrease in the water resources for all uses. Sharing water resources is considered very important to water supplies in the present and future. The annual safe yield of groundwater is 275 million cubic meter (MCM) per year while pumping is more than 450 MCM. This increases the stress on groundwater and gives the priority to water harvesting projects in different areas to accumulate the runoff water either in pools or in desert dams for irrigation, livestock or artificial groundwater recharge. There are more than 25 dams located in the different parts of the country with total storage of about 204 MCM. To avoid the water shortages in Jordan, it is recommended to increase water harvesting projects and reuse wastewater for irrigation purposes.