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Jordan Water Crisis Worsening

According to a recent study by Stanford University, the current water Crisis is set to get much worse over the coming years.

The study reinforces a warning issued by the World Bank back in August of this year that said that Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Syria will experience significantly increased water stress driven by climate change.

The World Bank Report, Beyond Scarcity: Water Security in the Middle East and North Africa, described the region as the global hotspot of unsustainable water use, but said that a combination of technology, policy and management can convert scarcity into security.

If we think of water resources as a bank account, then the region is now seriously overdrawn,” said Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa. “Drawing water from rivers and aquifers faster than they can be replenished is equivalent to living beyond one’s means, and it undermines a country’s natural capital, affecting longer-term wealth and resilience. But there are solutions, and they start with clear incentives to change the way water is managed.”

According to the researchers, Jordan could receive 30% less rainfall by 2100 and annual temperatures could increase by 4.5 Celsius unless there was some sort of international climate policy action.

The number and duration of droughts would double when compared with the 1981-2010 period, which is a source of great concern for a country which is already dealing with water shortages. The reservoirs in Jordan are at a record low, being only one-fifth full with the vital winter rains becoming increasingly erratic.

More than half of Jordan’s water is used for agriculture, which produces only a small share of the local food supply, and with 160% more water being drawn than is replenished by nature, this is not sustainable.

The use of water irrigation remains heavily subsidised, and wastage is a major issue; thanks to the subsidy, some farmers grow water-intensive crops such as bananas and tomatoes. An estimated 50% of the water supply is lost due to misuse or theft.

Unfortunately, solutions often depend on cross-border cooperation which is not always forthcoming, and until a solution is found, the water crisis in Jordan will only get worse.

Rent water dispensers and plumbed water dispensers from Living-Water in London.

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Jordan Water Crisis Worsening


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