Jordan, in comparison to other countries, has a dearth of water resources

[02-11-2021 03:46 PM]

Ammon News -

BY Dr. Osama "Mohammad Najeeb" Gazal

The degree of water stress (freshwater withdrawal as an extent of accessible freshwater resources) as indicated by WBG (2020) arrived at 150% in Jordan and it was (110%, 22.6%, and 8%) in Israel, the USA and Hungary respectively. While the yearly freshwater withdrawal, for horticulture (% of the absolute freshwater withdrawal), was 52.08% in Jordan on the year 2015, and it was 57.7%, 36%, 6.4% in Israel, the USA, and Hungary for the years (2004, 2010 and 2012). And for local uses it arrived at 44%, 36%, 12%, and 14.2% for Jordan, Israel, the USA, and Hungary separately. Estimated water use in the United States in 2015 according to the U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1441 (Dieter et al. 2018) was 36.7% for irrigation and groundwater covered 25.6% of the USA water demands (CSS 2019; Dieter et al. 2018; EPA 2013). The agricultural sector in Israel is the largest water user about 58 % of the country water resources, consuming around 1,205 million cubic meters (MCM) of water in 2013 (WAI 2015).

Desalination output was estimated at 307 MCM per year in 2011, enough to satisfy Israel's drinking water needs by about 40% (Rejwan 2011) the desalination output in Israel in 2011, the water resources come from the desalination project in Israel equal 29% of the overall Jordan water resources for the year 2019. To further compare Jordan as a poor water resource country with other arid countries, it was considered that the degree of water stress for Kuwait was 2603.5% and for the UAE was 2346.5%, however, as these countries have big seawater desalination projects and per capita water over the 1000-liter global neediness line every day. The UAE accounts for 14% of the world’s desalinated water according to UAE (2018) where more than 41.4% of the UAE water resources come from the desalination projects, UAE residents use up to 550 liters of water per day while the international average is 170-300 liters per day, making it 82% higher than the world average. Kuwait No. 1 in global water consumption at 500 liters per person per day. However, according to official reports from the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait has reported the highest global per capita water consumption of 500 liters per person per day, where 65% of Kuwait's water resources come from the desalination projects according to the Water-Energy-Food Nexus project in Kuwait (MFA 2019). In Jordan desalination water accounts for 0.372% of the total water resources for the year 2019 (Figure ‎2 2).

The following (Figure ‎2 2) was designed to compare the renewable internal freshwater resources per capita (RIFR) (in cubic meters) (RIFR) between Jordan and Israel, the Arab countries, and the world average (RIFR). The trend line of Jordan (RIFR) shows a sharp decrease more than Israel (RIFR) even both are facing the same climatic change scenarios but the difference due to the high number of refugees in case of Jordan. This demonstrates the need for ambitious strategies to protect and use groundwater in a sustainable manner. And therefore, the water sector in Jordan shows a rapid official interest in developing maps of groundwater vulnerability to determine groundwater protection zones in the country.

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