The Water Demand Management Unit (WDMU) was established in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) in 2002, and is responsible for Water Demand Management Programs for the urban sector in Jordan.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan aspires to raise the quality and standard of living of its citizens, and therefore intends to expand the commercial, industrial and tourism sectors of the country in this regard. It is recognized that proceeding in this direction will put additional stresses on the already stretched water resources of the country.
The management of Jordan’s scarce water resources is a serious challenge. The most viable short-term option available to the Government of Jordan is to manage its water demand. Behavior patterns of water users will need to be adjusted toward greater water conservation practices and more efficient water use. For Jordan to meet the requirements imposed by a growing population and to meet its desired economic development objectives, it is imperative that optimal and sustainable patterns of water use be instituted at all levels.
No single action can remedy Jordan’s water shortages. Rather, many actions, by a variety of institutions, are necessary to increase overall water use efficiency and availability from the country’s existing resources.
The WDMU has been established, and views its role, as engaging in efforts that increase water use efficiency and availability in and among the municipal, industrial, tourism and agricultural sectors, while maintaining the social and economic benefits of water use.
Since being established, the WDMU has been primarily focused on the coordination and support of different donor programs on Water Demand Management.
Some of the WDMU’s major accomplishments have been:-
1- Introduction and promotion of the concept of water demand management in the water supply sector, as well as in other water use sectors. Historically, the focus on management in the water sector has been mainly on supply management.
2- Promotion of water saving technology and water saving devices, which has proven to save at least 20% on water usage in buildings. The WDMU offers a free audit program for large consumer.
3- articipation in introducing new water laws and regulations aimed at conserving water: “National Jordanian Construction Code: Water Supply for Building Codes” has been updated to address concepts of water efficiency and thresholds for flow rates in water outlets in buildings. Beautification Codes were also updated to introduce the concepts of water savings in outdoor uses of water and concepts of water conserving gardens. Lectures that target design engineers and plumbing technicians have been conducted to increase awareness of the new codes and their potential water savings benefits.
4- Introduction of Water Demand Management concepts in school curricula to increase the awareness of the new generation of Jordanian citizens regarding water scarcity and educate them about more efficient use of water. The WDMU, when requested, has provided lectures to school students to explain the water situation in Jordan, and how they can participate in efforts to conserve water or use water more efficiently.
5- Studied the possibility of grey water reuse in areas with no sewer systems. A grey water treatment and reuse system was installed in Shgira village, and was maintained and monitored. The WDMU participated actively in the discussion and evaluation of grey water in the country. In addition, the WDMU has promoted and supported studies on rainwater harvesting.
6- Carried outreach activities for creating a water conservation culture especially for school children and women.
7- Participated in national and international conferences, and presented papers to promote water demand management.
8- Promoted the idea of water conserving gardens to raise awareness in the field of water conserving landscape, and followed up with the public parks and nurseries specialized in the propagation of native, drought tolerant plants.
9- Supported the establishment of a Master’s Degree Program in Water Demand Management at Jordan University for Science and Technology. This pioneering Program includes a series of highly specialized courses in Water Demand Management and is intended to help in institutionalizing the profession of water demand management in Jordan.
10- Supported a community grants program to provide assistance to local communities in different parts of the country to implement projects that either conserved water or increased water use efficiency.
11- Coordinated and supported different donor programs on Water Demand Management.
This Strategic and Operational Plan has been prepared by the WDMU with support of the IDARA Project, in consultation with a broad stakeholder group interested in Water Demand Management (WDM) issues and concerns, to serve as a guiding document for WDM in Jordan for the period 2008-2012. This time-frame is seen as a period of major economic growth for Jordan, and a period that will challenge the water resources of Jordan to meet the needs of it citizens