Water strategies and potential of desalination in Jordan


Date Added

Corporate Authorship
Mousa S. Mohsen Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hashemite University, Zarqa 13115 Jordan Tel. +962 (5) 390-3333; Fax +962 (5) 382-6348; email: msmohsen@hu.edu.jo

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Uploaded By:
USAID/Jordan Water Management Initiative USAID/Jordan Water Management Initiative
(Maram Barqawi)

Resource Type


Tags: Water supply and sanitation Strategic planning Water Conservation

Jordan is considered one of the countries in the world with the scarcest of water resources. This has led to
deterioration of the groundwater quality and an increase in the salinity levels. The dominant environmental challenge
expanding population. Rainfall is confined largely to the winter season and ranges from around 660 mm in the
north-west of the country to less than 130 mm in the extreme east. Major surface water resources are the Yarmouk
and Zarqa rivers, and the associated side wadis, all flowing westward into the River Jordan and the Dead Sea.
Whilst high evaporation rates result in relatively low annual stream flows, the high infiltration rates common in
Jordan result in high rates of groundwater recharge. Water conservation is being pursued through increased water
recycling, improved irrigation techniques and reducing water loss in distribution; whilst on the supply side is
examining the potential for increased desalination, including schemes to transport seawater from Aqaba to the
Dead Sea to restore its level and generate potable water, and further investment in dams and domestic reservoirs to
collect and hold rainwater. This paper reviews the basic water plans in Jordan, including water resources available,
analysis of supply and demand, impacts of water scarcity, water management options, and current situation and
future need of desalination, as the only realistic hope.

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