MENADrought, collaboration and lessons learned on Jordan’s path to drought resilience
Nov 10 2021
Between the mountains of Iran and the coastal plains of Morocco lies a region facing significant drought risks: the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Drought has been common in MENA for centuries, but climate change is making droughts more frequent, unpredictable, and dangerous. Faced with this growing threat, the Government of Jordan is strengthening its drought resilience with the support of the USAID-funded IWMI-led MENADrought project, which helps deliver a comprehensive drought adaptation program for Jordan. Progress in Jordan’s journey toward drought resilience was consolidated through a recent workshop held in Amman, which brought together Jordan’s Drought Technical Committee (DTC), senior representatives from government ministries, and IWMI researchers to share lessons learned and take the vital next steps toward climate resilience.
Crucial recent developments include Jordan’s Drought Action Plan (DAP), a living document produced by the government’s DTC with IWMI’s support. The DAP combines elements of drought mitigation and adaptation, providing recommendations for reducing drought risk across Jordan, as well as response actions to minimize harmful impacts when drought occurs. IWMI technical tools support the implementation of the DAP: for example, a rainfall forecasting system predicts drought onset, progress, and termination, while a satellite map-based monitoring system detects the impacts drought has across water systems – often before the effects are visible on the ground. Improving drought preparedness means thinking long-term. That’s why working together is so important – by sharing knowledge on how to use these technical tools with the DTC, IWMI helps to ensure their long-term usability in Jordan. As IWMI water modeling specialist Karim Bergaoui describes, “our first goal in this project is to have a multidisciplinary team, which is exactly what we saw in the workshop – everyone working together.”