Jordan suffers summer of water shortages
Jun 28 2021
Jordanians face the country’s worse water shortage in almost a decade due to the combined effect of weak rainfall and water overuse during COVID-19 lockdowns.
The arid country had only 60 per cent of the rainfall it usually gets between October 2020 and May 2021, leaving its four dams only 45 per cent full, official figures show.
At the same time, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic raised demand for water by between 10 and 40 per cent, amid lockdowns and increased handwashing, a report by the Economic and Social Council of Jordan says.
Jordan’s Minister of Water and Irrigation, Muhammad Al-Najjar, blames the mismanagement of water resources in 2020 for the critical situation.
“The kingdom witnessed an excellent rainy season [last year], and a number of dams reached their full storage capacity, but we mishandled what was stored, and we did not anticipate the possibility that the year 2021 would be dry.
“In fact, we wasted water by providing farmers with large additional quantities of irrigation, above their approved quota.”
The ministry urged citizens to cut down their water consumption. But many residents have had enough of the strain on resources and disruption to water supplies. Fadi Abu Qura, who lives in the Tla’ Al-Ali suburb of the capital, Amman, told SciDev.Net: “We always live in a water crisis, and I don’t know where all the rains go.
“We haven’t received sufficient quantities of water since last February, and we no longer know what day the water will come.”
Fadi Abu Qura, Amman resident