National 2023-2040 water strategy launched Thursday

16-03-2023 11:05 AM

Ammon News - The Ministry of Water and Irrigation on Thursday launched the 2023-2040 National Water Strategy to serve as a long-term roadmap for achieving water security in Jordan.

USAID Mission Director Sherry F. Carlin, German Deputy Ambassador to Jordan Florian Reindel, a number of foreign ambassadors in Amman, representatives of finance institutions and donors, as well as water sector officials and stakeholders, attended the strategy’s launch ceremony.

Deputizing for the prime minister, Minister of Water and Irrigation Muhammad Najjar said the strategy outlines the government's goals and plans for the water sector in order to achieve water security in accordance with His Majesty King Abdullah II's instructions and vision for developing a long-term strategy to address issues like water scarcity, population growth, and climate change.

The strategy, the minister added, emphasizes Jordan's need for new water supply sources, an optimal management of the country's current water resources, as well as attaining water security and sustainable development.

Jordan is in dire need of non-conventional sources to boost the nation's water supply and sustainability, according to Najjar. In this context, he stated that the new National Water Carrier project and a substantial increase of wastewater treatment for reuse in agriculture are essential components of these efforts.

The minister noted that the use of nonconventional water sources has the potential to decrease a rising water deficit, improve potable water supplies, and provide water for industrial, agricultural, and tourism projects.

The minister also emphasized the need of building an effective management system, tackling climate change, and minimizing groundwater depletion in order to refill groundwater reservoirs and create prudent water sector governance.

He emphasized that the national water strategy also aims to reduce water losses by speeding up system modernization and network replacement, and looking for sustainable water sources.
The minister stated that by accelerating the response to network leaks and switching to natural flow pumping, which reduces energy and maintenance costs while extending network lifetime, the water loss reduction strategy, which has been recently updated, aims to reduce losses by 2 percent to reach the 25-percent loss reduction target by 2040.

Najjar also explained that the strategy calls for the installation of modern smart meters and control systems so that the general public can monitor their water consumption to rationalize use and enhance service delivery while firmly preventing unlawful usage.

The minister elaborated, saying that the strategy's goal is to improve water sector governance, management, and operation via institutional reforms that streamline processes, save costs, and clarify roles and responsibilities.

According to Najjar, efforts are currently ongoing to enhance usage efficiency, raise revenues, and recover costs across all utilities in the water sector in order to bring down the water sector's soaring deficit and boost service quality.

The minister said these reforms will improve the sector's institutions' financial standing, making it possible for them to fulfill their commitments in line with the highest international standards and carry out the necessary plans and programs.

Integrated management of water resources, attaining sustainable water security, and safeguarding and maintaining ground and surface water resources are the foundation of the National Water Sector Strategy 2023-2040.

Adherence to all applicable statutes and regulations concerning the management and conservation of water supplies is essential. Improving financial performance and making it sustainable, creating a data system that aids in decision making, investing in innovation and technology, increasing energy and water efficiency, and addressing climate change are all fundamental tenets of the strategy.

Other goals of the strategy include strengthening the water infrastructure, increasing the use of alternative water sources, and broadening the scope of partnerships with public and private organizations. This is in addition to recruiting top-tier professionals, inspire and equip the next generation, deepen links with educational and research institutions, and open up new avenues for research in the areas of water and sanitation.

The USAID Mission Director underlined the importance of the strategy and the continued partnership with the water sector to enhance resource management.

The German deputy ambassador described the strategy as a "comprehensive document," underscoring the need for donors to coordinate efforts to limit water challenges and boost investment.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of several ministries, the private sector, donors, academic institutions and civil society organizations.

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