Sunday, April 8

Water scarcity: Saving Jordan and the Dead Sea

Ah, but desalination is expensive....
Jordan’s critical water situation highlighted
March 19, 2012
The Jordan Times

Highlighting Jordan's critical water situation, [Jordan Minister of Water and Irrigation Mousa Jamani] noted that even with improving water efficiency, reducing water loss and wisely managing every drop of water, the country will still suffer from a water deficit.

A significant increase in population has led to a sharp decrease in per capita water availability in Jordan, which dropped from 3,600 cubic metres in 1946 to 145 cubic metres in 2008.

Water demand will rise to 1,673 million cubic metres (mcm) and the water deficit will surge from the current 457mcm to 659mcm within a decade, as the Kingdom's population is projected to exceed 7.8 million by 2022.

"The only long-term solution for the Kingdom's water scarcity is desalination. Studies for the Red-Dead [Red Sea-Dead Sea] project are nearing completion. Once the results out, the stakeholders will discuss the implementation phases," Jamani said yesterday.

The project is part of international efforts to save the Dead Sea, which has been shrinking at the rate of one metre per year, largely due to the diversion of water from the Jordan River for agricultural and industrial use.

Initial plans for the mega-venture propose pumping one billion cubic metres of water annually from the Red Sea into the rapidly shrinking Dead Sea to stop its depletion.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Water and Irrigation Assistant Secretary General and Spokesperson Adnan Zu’bi called on public, private and civic institutions to collaborate in order to reduce water consumption in Jordan by adopting environment-friendly practices.

"It is important to preserve water resources from depletion and pollution for the current and future generations," added Zu’bi, who is also president of the Jordanian Society for the Conservation of Water.

Jordan is recognised as the fourth water-poorest nation in the world, according to the ministry, which constantly urges households to install water-saving devices that can reduce water consumption by up to 30 per cent.

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