Photo: © RSCN
Photo: © RSCN
The GoAL WaSH project in Jordan aims to strengthen the national drought governance system and promote more systematic approach to drought response planning and management.
Jordan is the second most water scarce country in the world, thus undermining growth and development of the country. Water supply is based on a rationing system to cope with the deficit and ensure equitable distribution. If supply remains constant, per capita domestic consumption is projected to fall to 90 cubic meters per person/year by 2025, putting Jordan in the category of having an absolute water shortage and endanger public health.
Drought in Jordan has a detrimental impact on the water resources. The nature, location and scale of drought effects have yet to be thoroughly investigated. The national response to drought as a natural hazard occurs on an ad hoc basis. The existing governance structure of drought management lacks clear institutional and legal arrangements. In addition, the lack of technical capacities and an early warning system undermine a proactive drought management approach.
Jordan has recently recognized the importance of developing a pro-active, risk-based drought management approach aiming at reducing the impacts of future drought events on drinking water resources through the implementation of a drought preparedness program. Accordingly, a collaborative framework including the GoAL WaSH programme, UNDP, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Water was established to raise the awareness of decision makers on the importance of integrated proactive approach to drought management and strengthening the governance and regulatory set ups.
The project is expected to improve the national preparedness to mitigate drought impacts by strengthening the capacity of concerned institutions and relevant stakeholders to base drought management measures in their primary policies, strategies and programs. This will be achieved through comprehensive national stakeholders’ dialogue and clear institutional-regulatory framework for drought response and management. A national drought resilience strategy and action plan will be developed. Moreover, an early warning system will be established in the most vulnerable areas in the country.
In addition, GoAL WaSH is supporting pilot projects in different locations of Jordan to put drought management (water saving and water efficiency) in place.
A drought management unit has been established at the Ministry of Water. This unit has prepared a plan for how to move forward, including improved methods for seasonal weather forecasting and drought classification. Furthermore, a water sector policy for drought management has been developed and approved by the Government. The policy will be a guiding document that should be considered and implemented by all sectors when it comes to drought. To put drought management in place at municipal level, three pilot projects have been implemented in different locations of Jordan focusing on water saving and water efficiency.