WRM, in close collaboration with the Netherlands Embassy in Amman will organize policy dialogues on productive water use and water-secure Jordan, bringing together different stakeholders from the water and agricultural sector (relevant ministries, scientists, the private sector and water use organisations).
Jordan is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world. The country’s renewable water supply currently only meets about half of the population’s water demands, with groundwater being used twice as quickly as it can be recharged. A high rate of population growth and the influx of refugees from regional conflicts put additional strain on an already stressed water supply, while changing rain patterns threaten to exacerbate the problem. Water stress is most visible in increased pumping of aquifers (groundwater) and increased salinity in the southern part of the Jordan valley.
The severe water shortages that Jordan is facing require a comprehensive approach to managing both water supply and water demand. While the national government has placed a priority on meeting domestic water needs, the importance of the agricultural sector to rural employment and food security makes a considered approach to improving agricultural water security essential. Agriculture is the largest water user in Jordan. The agricultural sector has long recognised the water-stressed situation. Yet with expected increases in water use of especially the domestic sector due to population growth and economic development, more coherent action is needed to reduce the water stress in Jordan. Shifts are required in the different agro-ecological zones of Jordan, with a focus on existing agricultural areas (the Jordan Highlands and the Jordan Valley) and a halt on new groundwater-pumped areas.
The purpose of the project is to organise policy dialogues that will lead to a national strategy for a water-secure Jordan in 2050. The strategy report resulting from the dialogues offers a much-needed shared perspective to foster discussions on sufficient information level among donors, different ministries, researchers and water use organisations. The project will result in action plans on how different water use sectors can jointly work towards a more water-secure future in 2050.
The policy dialogues will consist of three different sessions in the Jordan Valley and the Highlands.
After the completion of all three sessions, a plenary policy discussion with high-level, governmental stakeholders will take place to inform policy making.