Direct water reuse program supports rural, urban economic development in Jordan

CDM Inc., under contract to the U.S. Agency for International Development and in cooperation with the Water Authority of Jordan, is advancing sustainable wastewater reuse in Jordan through a groundbreaking, multi-site, direct reuse program for industry, agriculture, and urban landscaping...

Jul 21st, 2005

AMMAN, Jordan, July 21, 2005 -- CDM Inc., under contract to the U.S. Agency for International Development and in cooperation with the Water Authority of Jordan, is advancing sustainable wastewater reuse in Jordan through a groundbreaking, multi-site, direct reuse program for industry, agriculture, and urban landscaping.

At present, the limited water supply in this arid region does not meet demands, and only 10% of Jordan's total water demand is satisfied by directly or indirectly reusing water in agriculture -- a sector that consumes approximately 70% of the country's total water resources. The project aims to increase the%age of treated wastewater in Jordan to 30% of the country's total water demand and to provide significant socioeconomic development benefits to this nation of 6 million.

Agricultural components of the program include four demonstration projects -- in Aqaba, on the Red Sea coast; Wadi Mousa, home to the world-renown archaeological site, Petra; Irbid, site of the Jordan University of Science and Technology; and Amman, the capital. Each demonstration project helps to develop the appropriate operational plans, market strategies, and monitoring needed to support sustainable treated wastewater reuse in Jordan.

The crops selected for cultivation at each site differ based on climate, soil type, available resources, and socioeconomic factors. For example, at the Wadi Mousa site, farmers participating in the project have realized immediate returns on fodder crops, such as alfalfa, barley, vetch, and maize. By irrigating with reclaimed water, the crops can be produced and marketed much more cost-effectively than is customary for the region, significantly reducing Jordan's reliance on imported fodder for sheep, goats, and other livestock, and directly benefiting the farmers and Bedouin communities whose livelihoods are closely linked to these animals. Additional institutional activities include establishing a water users association that will ensure long-term reuse program viability and a farmers' revolving fund to encourage further investment and help address farm operations and maintenance needs.

In the industrial component of the program, partnerships with seven of the nation's biggest industrial water users -- including a soft drink bottler, a phosphate manufacturer, and an oil refinery -- extend the reach of the reuse program by incorporating strategies such as recycling process water, managing demand, and reusing effluent.

CDM Inc. (www.cdm.com) is a consulting, engineering, construction, and operations firm delivering exceptional service to public and private clients worldwide.

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