World Bank approves $250mn financing for Jordan water efficiency

Written by
26 Jul 2023
World Bank approves $250mn financing for Jordan water efficiency

A new ‘Jordan Water Sector Efficiency Project’ to help lift country’s water supply above scarcity threshold, focusing on reducing water losses and drought management; managing 'non-revenue water'

The World Bank has approved $250 million in financing to improve the efficiency of water services in Jordan through the rehabilitation of water distribution networks, improving energy efficiency, and strengthening the drought management system in the water-scarce country.

The approved financing for the new ‘Jordan Water Sector Efficiency Project’ consists of a $200 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and a $50 million grant from the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF), the World Bank said in a statement last week.

The statement underlined that with only 97 m3 of available water per capita per year, Jordan’s water supply is significantly below the absolute water scarcity threshold of 500 m3 per capita per year. The combination of climate change and population growth is expected to further reduce per capita water resources availability by 30 percent by 2040.

Moreover, much of the water allocated for municipal use is lost: Over 50 percent of municipal water either leaks from pipes or is not paid for by the consumer and is considered non-revenue water (NRW).

Enhancing efficiency, fixing leaks

The Jordan Water Sector Efficiency Project, according to World Bank,  will address three key areas:

  • It will focus on sustainable reduction of NRW by rehabilitating water supply infrastructure, modernising water supply systems, and engaging customers and communities.
  • It will enhance energy efficiency and reduction of energy supply costs.
  • It will implement measures for water security and drought management that will serve as a foundation for improving efficiency in the water sector and adapting to the challenges posed by climate change.

The statement said an estimated 1.6 million people, comprising both refugees and host communities, will benefit from improved water services.

The implementation of measures to reduce water losses is projected to save approximately 10 million cubic metres of water. Furthermore, the Project will contribute to reduced electricity use in the sector and reduced electricity costs.

The Project will also establish a robust drought management system to improve water management practices to benefit households, farmers, and industries during recurrent droughts faced by Jordan, including those caused by the impacts of climate change.

Water sector projects

The approved financing is intended to be the first in a proposed series of projects aimed at supporting Jordan in addressing water losses, promoting efficiency, enhancing service delivery, and improving financial sustainability of the water sector.

“The Government of Jordan has been proactive in analysing water scarcity challenges and in formulating adaptive response measures,” said Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Director for the Middle East Department. “This new financing provides the investment support and long-term programmatic approach needed to mobilise major investments in infrastructure and institutional reform, linking planning with action to improve the efficiency and resilience of the water sector in Jordan.”

The Jordan Water Sector Efficiency Project is fully aligned with the Government’s Water Sector Strategy adopted in March 2023 and the Financial Sustainability Roadmap for the Water Sector adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers in November 2022.

The Project also supports the implementation of key recommendations from the Jordan Country Climate and Development Report, which prioritises water sector efficiency, loss reduction, drought risk management, promotion of water-energy nexus solutions and water security.

Energy & Utilities reported last year that the European Investment Bank (EIB) would provide the Jordanian government with a €200 million loan to finance the Amman-Aqaba water conveyance and desalination project. E&U also reported on a UAE-backed Jordan-Israel water for power agreement at COP27. 

Energy & Utilities - Middle East and Africa Market, Outlook Report 2023.

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