WRM successfully completed the Jordan policy dialogues project
Last month, the Water Resources Management (WRM) group sucessfully compeleted the Jordan policy dialogues project. Under this project funded by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), WRM facilitated a series of three policy dialogues on 'Confronting the Challenges of Water Scarcity: Seeking Viable, Sustainable and Prosperous Options for Agriculture & Water in 2050'. Local stakeholders from the two agricultural areas of Jordan, the Jordan Valley and the Highlands, as well as ministries, international donors and expert groups were brought together to discuss and explore opportunities for increasing socio-economic value creation by agriculture under reduced water use. On the basis of these discussions, the WRM team developed a threefold dossier on the outcomes of the project, including a policy recommendations report, reflecting on recommendations for water, energy and agriculture and their implications.
Projections for 2050 indicate that Jordan will have a structural freshwater shortage of 1521 MCM per year due to the increased water demand from domestic and industrial sector while there is a limited availability of renewable water supply. To bridge this water gap, it is thus inevitable to seek and develop supply augmentation options and maximization of water re-use, as already foreseen and contemplated within current government policies. These options are: 300 MCM of desalinated Red Sea water; 200 MCM of fresh (or desalinated) water from bilateral trade agreements (e.g., water-energy deals); and, maximum reutilisation of about 800 MCM treated wastewater, from both domestic and industrial use.
During the official kick-off meeting of the project, the chair hoder of WRM, prof.dr.ir. Petra Hellegers, introduced the project to ministers and high-level officials. Following, the WRM team visited the Jordan Valley and the Highlands to meet and discuss with local farmers, stakeholders and organizations active in the field of water and agriculture. During the first workshop, participants identified a set of options for the future of agriculture in Jordan. In the second workshop, the Water Allocation Game (WAG) was introduced and participants were asked to explore ways to bridge the water gap towards 2050. The options for the future of agriculture as identified during the first workshop and their effects on the overall water balance were discussed using the WAG. During the closing workshop, the WRM team discussed the outcomes of the two previous workshops and concluded in a set of policy recommendations that focused on:
- completing the shift from freshwater to TWW,
- enhancing the economic value of agriculture, and
- reducing agricultural water demand.
Stay tuned for the final reports and other activities of WRM in Jordan!