Advancing Water Monitoring across Jordan
A Training on Water Monitoring in Jordan took place at the Dead Sea, Jordan on October 9-10, 2016. The Training aimed at building the capacities of water authorities, practitioners and other stakeholders in Jordan on water monitoring in relation to the protection of water resources as well as at sharing knowledge and best practices on monitoring techniques and networks.
The training was opened by Ms. Jovanka Ignjatovic – senior water management expert at the REC and WATER SUM project manager – and by the representatives of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in Jordan.
The first session began with an introduction to water monitoring by Ms. Romina Alvarez of the environmental assessment company CIMERA. Ms. Alvarez presented the guidance on water monitoring in MENA countries developed in the framework of the WATER SUM project, opened the floor comments and suggestions from stakeholders in order to further adapt it to the very specific context of the country.
In the afternoon session, Ms. Alvarez presented the principles of a monitoring programme and how to properly design one. She stressed the importance of defining the objectives of the monitoring plan; taking into account preliminary surveys; preparing a good description of the monitoring area; selecting sampling sites; identifying variabilities; and deciding the frequency and timing of sampling.
Ms. Alvarez continued with a description of the resources required for a monitoring programme, including laboratory facilities and transportation, as well as the need for schedules for sampling expeditions and the importance of human resources development and training.
The second day of the training began with a presentation of the initial results of the feasibility study on water monitoring in Jordan. Mr. Amer Tubeishat, who gave the presentation, also steered a lively discussion among participants, during which different scenarios were suggested for the selection of new sampling points.
The overview of biological monitoring approaches included presentations and a definition of the tools and methods applicable in arid countries such as Jordan.The training continued with the sharing of practical information about field work and sampling. In response to a request by Jordanian institutions, special attention was given to telemetric monitoring, which has been identified as an important direction for development in the country.
The final session of the training focused on the hydrological approach to water monitoring, including the water cycle, methods for measuring water quantity, equipment for field work, and remote options for data processing. All the theoretical training sessions were followed by opportunities for participants to gain practical experience in solving specific cases typical for conditions in the country.
Conclusions of the Training on Water Monitoring in Jordan:
- As water scarcity is an overarching issue in Jordan, with huge economic and social importance, all water resources need to be monitored so that informed decisions can be made regarding their protection.
- Unlike most other countries, groundwater plays a very important role in water supply in Jordan, which means that higher priority should be given to monitoring the quantity and quality of aquifers.
- Jordan has already developed a substantial monitoring network, including a system of telemetric stations. However, the further optimisation of the network is feasible. The exchange of monitoring data, and access to those data, are also highly important.