Project for energy, water, food, ecosystems launched in Balqa

08-05-2023 08:09 PM

Ammon News - The Swedish International Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean on Monday launched a project in Balqa that re-purposes wastewater to irrigate crops using solar energy in three farms in the Wadi Shuaib area.

The interconnection of environmental systems, water, energy and food represents an effective approach to addressing the climate change crisis that casts its shadows on Jordan, which is now suffering from water scarcity due to recurrent droughts and rising temperatures. This interconnectedness was translated into the project, which was implemented by the Global Water Partnership (Mediterranean) and funded by SIDA through the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in Jordan, with the aim of creating a wetland system and nature-based solutions for treating wastewater, according to a statement from the Global Water Partnership on Monday.

Swedish Ambassador in Amman, Alexandra Rydmark, said during the inauguration of the project that "Jordan and the countries of the region suffer from water scarcity, in addition to the harsh effects of climate change, which will make us face more challenges in the future. Therefore, there is a need to use every drop of water by finding ways that can ensure it is more efficiently used."

"Jordan is one of the leading and pioneering countries in the field of using treated water in the region, thus serving as a model at both the regional and international levels," Rydmark added.

Since Jordan is one of the world’s most water poor countries due to the increasing consequences of climate change, there was a need to work in an integrated manner within an approach that integrates water, energy, food and ecosystem issues, said President of the Global Water Partnership, Michael Scoullos.

"Having a healthy ecosystem is extremely important if we want to succeed in the water, energy, and food security sectors. The project inaugurated today is a vivid example of the link between the four sectors of energy, water, food security, and environmental systems within a single work approach. Three projects were completed in the Salt area, Wadi Shuaib, and another in Palestine, and we are now close to local communities, and we are striving to expand the dissemination of these projects in other countries in the future," Scoullos noted.

For his part, the UfM Deputy Secretary-General, Mu'taz Al Abbadi, emphasized that "Jordan is a point of interest because it suffers from water scarcity, pushing us to work with financiers to ensure that funding is spent on implementing priority projects in the Kingdom."

Abbadi explained that "the project links the water, energy, environmental systems and food security sectors, which positively reflect on the local community by creating more job opportunities for its members while raising awareness about the importance of treated water and its uses."

He stressed the need to integrate the approach of food security, water, energy and environmental systems within the policies adopted by the government and in implementing water treatment projects and others on the ground.

Ghazi Abu Rumman, Director of Operations of the Global Water Partnership in Jordan, gave a briefing on the project and its objectives, namely using treated wastewater and local environmental systems for agricultural production, benefiting from solar energy infrastructure for irrigation, which contributes to reducing the carbon footprint and increasing water efficiency for energy production.

The head of the Greater Salt Municipality, Muhammad al-Hiyari, affirmed that "this project falls within the municipality's long-term work agenda, which includes projects within the same framework and will provide job opportunities for the local community as well."

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