Water Auditing and Retrofitting of the Ministry of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and Holy Places, Jordan

Countries: Jordan
Level: National
Region: MENA Region
Tags: Institutional measure | Urban water supply
Target audience: Industry/business | Local government/municipalities | National government | NGOs and CSOs | Regional government | Students/university | Water authorities | Water companies

“Water Efficiency and Public Information for Action” (WEPIA) was a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Washington D.C.-based Academy for Educational Development (AED), in cooperation with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. WEPIA recommended several water-saving techniques. One of these techniques, using suitable water-saving devices (WSDs) that operate by mixing water with air, allows the consumer to use less water but to enjoy the same satisfying results. The study produced a detailed inventory of water outlets at the study location, followed by the identification of items that could be retrofitted. An economic analysis on the feasibility of using WSDs was presented as well.

Description and Analysis

The Ministry is situated in Jabal Al-Hussein, Amman, with approximately 450 employees working in two buildings—a new building and an old one. Neither of the two buildings has pressurised systems, such as pumps, to supply the water outlets (faucets) directly; rather, the system works by gravity, so the pressure depends upon the water head — i.e. the building’s height. The pressure ranges between 0.3 and 1.2 bar. The ministry’s outdoor gardens are small and could be negligible in the water audit. Although the ministry was aware of using water-saving devices (WSDs) as a solution for decreasing both water consumption and payment of water bills, WSDs had not been installed in the past. This awareness was converted to a real action as a result of cooperation between the ministry and the WEPIA project. WEPIA conducted a water audit of the headquarters of the Ministry of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and holy Places and implemented water-device retrofitting in the ministry buildings.

A field survey for the two ministry buildings was carried out in the initial phase of the project. The results can be summarised as follows: The main water outlets needing retrofit were the faucets. There were 35 faucets in all, of which 27 were threaded and eight were Jordanian-manufactured faucets without threads. None of these faucets had leaks. After checking the water bills, the study found that the ministry consumes an average of 800 m3 per year of water. The cost of one cubic metre for the ministry is JOD 1.5, so the total cost of water consumption per year was JOD 1,200, which constitutes a modest amount, but which could be further reduced. The aerators installed in the ministry buildings had flow rates of 6 litres per minute, as recommended in WEPIA Voluntary Code. The price range for a single aerator is JOD 2.5–3.5.

The actual calculations of the WEPIA project are detailed below.

  • D is the potential water saving in (L/yr).
  • Fb is the faucet flow rate before retrofit (L/min).
  • Fa is the faucet flow rate after retrofit (L/min).
  • P is the population (in this case, workers) of the target area using the faucets.
  • C is the number of working days during the year.
  • R is the number of uses per person per day.
  • T is the average number of minutes per use.

The number of employees that use ministry bathrooms targeted by the case study is 120 (which constitutes 27% of ministry employees).

  • D = (20 - 6) 250 X 120 X 1 X 1 = 420,000 L/ year= 420 m3 per year.
  • The cost of 1 cubic metre = JOD 1.5 for the ministry’s buildings.
  • The investment cost was JOD 109.
  • The amount of money saved = E = 420 X 1.5 = 630 JOD per year.
  • Percentage of saving = 420 / 800 X 100 = 52.5%.
  • Payback period = I / E = 109 / 630 = 0.173 year = = 63 days = 2 months

Even though the return profile of the water-saving devices is very attractive, WSDs are still uncommon in Jordan for a variety of reasons, which include:

  • lack of awareness about these devices;
  • concerns regarding convenience, cost, and public health;
  • variability of water pressure and variability of sanitary fixtures;
  • availability of WSDs at local suppliers; and
  • lack of demonstrable success in previous water conservation projects.

There are also sociological reasons that hamper efficient water conservation measures, the most important of which are related to the unreliability of water supply and the low cost of water.

Results obtained

  • The amount of water saved was 420 m3 per year (or, 52 percent), while the annual money savings amounted to JOD 630.

Success factors

  • Awareness among employees
  • High commitment of the ministry
  • Available funds
  • Maintenance of devices

Indicators used

  • Water consumption reduction by 52 percent, flow rate reduced from 20 litres per minutes to 6 litres per minute
  • Toilet flush reduced by about 67 percent

This case study can be applied and repeated for similar public and commercial buildings, especially as it also results in financial savings. Device maintenance is a key component of success.


Retrofitting the Ministry of Awqaf buildings, WEPIA project (2004).