Facing Water Scarcity in Jordan: Reuse, Demand Reduction, Energy, and Transboundary Approaches to Assure Future Water Supplies

Christopher A. Scott, Hazim El-Naser, Ross E. Hagan, Amal Hijazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Jordan is extremely water-scarce with just 167 m3 per capita per year to meet domestic, industrial, agricultural, tourism, and environmental demands. The heavy exploitation of water resources has contributed to declines in the levels of aquifers and the Dead Sea. Rapid growth in demand, particularly for higher quality water for domestic, industrial, and tourism uses, is significantly increasing pressure on agricultural and environmental uses of water, both of which must continue to adapt to reduced volumes and lower quality water. The agricultural sector has begun to respond by improving irrigation efficiency and increasing the use of recycled water. Total demand for water still exceeds renewable supplies while inadequate treatment of sewage used for irrigation creates potential environmental and health risks and presents agricultural marketing challenges that undermine the competitiveness of exports. The adaptive capability of the natural environment may already be past sustainable limits with oasis wetlands having been most seriously affected. Development of new water resources is extremely expensive in Jordan with an average investment cost of US$4 to $5 per cubic meter. This paper examines four integrated water resources management (IWRM) approaches of relevance to Jordan: water reuse, demand management, energy-water linkages, and transboundary water management. While progress in Jordan has been made, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation continues to be concerned about the acute water scarcity the country faces as well as the need to continue working with concerned stakeholders to assure future water supplies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
JournalWater International
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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