Water Demand Management Strategies Discussed in Jordan
A capacity-building event on Water Demand Management in Jordan took place at the Dead Sea on December 5-6, 2016. The event brought together practitioners responsible for water planning and management in Jordan, including staff from the ministry, the water authorities, water supply and sanitation companies, agricultural development offices and research organisations.
The event was designed to enhance knowledge and build capacity on water demand management (WDM) as well as to introduce the basic underlying economic concepts. The five training sessions combined theoretical knowledge with practical, interactive exercises. Participants demonstrated a keen interest in the topic and contributed to active discussions on a variety of WDM-related topics, clearly showing the need for similar events in the future for the “cross-fertilisation” of ideas and the exchange of experience.
The scene was set with a presentation of the WDM Strategy of Jordan, which is considered as one of the most comprehensive such strategies in the region. The next session introduced the concept of demand and how to measure demand on the water market, as well as how using appropriate tariffs (including tariff designs and tariff levels) can influence demand for water.
An entire session was dedicated to the reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation. The introductory presentation on the history of wastewater reuse in Jordan and the regulatory framework for wastewater use was followed by a presentation on research into the safety of wastewater reuse. Jordan is one of the most advanced countries in this field and its experience is worth sharing with other MENA countries.
The afternoon session on the second day was devoted to a game that simulated a market for tradable water rights, as part of which small groups of participants represented different actors in the water market. The main objective was to help participants to see that water trading can be an effective measure in allocating water to the most productive uses — a goal often emphasised by policy makers in the MENA region.
Among the positive outcomes of the event, participants gained a better understanding of how to use economics as a valuable tool and thinking framework in analysing water services; learned about the importance of prices in water services; shared related experiences; and collected input on good WDM practices in Jordan to lay the foundations for some of the good practice case studies to be developed during the next part of the project.