file under: Water, Government, Middle East/Africa, Sustainability, Integrated Resources Management

Making Every Drop Count

Jordan’s Nationwide Water Reuse Program

Jordan is one of the four most water-deprived countries in the world. With an annual rainfall of less than 20 centimeters per year, demand for water is projected to exceed its supply by 201 million cubic meters per year by 2020. Water reuse is no longer just an option to secure water supply, protect public and environmental health, and maintain socioeconomic development—it is a necessity.

RIAL comprises several water reclamation projects throughout Jordan to help the country meet its goal of 100-percent reuse of wastewater. 

To help Jordan meet its goal of 100-percent reuse of wastewater, we implemented the Reuse for Industry, Agriculture, and Landscaping (RIAL) program, which comprises several water reclamation projects throughout Jordan. At five industrial facilities we assisted with various water- and money-saving measures, ultimately resulting in the conservation of more than 570,000 cubic meters of water annually. Stricter pollution prevention measures at these facilities led to $3 million in savings through reduced water, fuel and chemical consumption.

Education was a focus of RIAL. We operated three demonstration sites to show farmers, the public and visitors from neighboring countries the benefits of water conservation and reclamation. Nobody feels the benefits of water reuse more than the farmers of Wadi Mousa, who have increased monthly income from less than $100 to more than $300 after learning to reuse water to grow food for livestock and sell the extra fodder.

Typically, wastewater isn’t associated with beauty. But in parts of Amman and Aqaba, irrigation with reclaimed water has helped to transform these cities, creating landscaped public parks and recreational space for residents. Informational signs showcasing the benefits of water reuse line the streets. RIAL is now serving as a model for similar programs in other countries, and rightly so. Today, Jordan uses more than 80 million cubic meters of reclaimed water a year.

Related Solutions

U.S. Agency for International Development