Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Water strategy discussed in Jordan

Jordan Times: A ministerial water conference on Monday adopted guidelines for a water strategy for the Mediterranean, which will focus on protecting water quality and finding a balance between drawing on new water resources and managing demand. The strategy, which will also address the impact of climate change, will be discussed at a higher level during a meeting of the heads of member states of the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM) by the end of 2010.

Addressing the participants, Minister of Water and Irrigation Raed Abu Saud said water scarcity in Jordan and the region constitutes the greatest challenge for any future development projects. “Currently, the estimated annual water deficit in Jordan is 500 million cubic metres [mcm], while the per capita water share is around 150 cubic metres annually compared to the international standard of 1,000 cubic metres per year,” Abu Saud said at the meeting, which was attended by 19 representatives from UPM member states, including Israel and the Arab League.

He added that the difference in the water situation between countries of the north and the south calls for strong cooperation and the development of appropriate frameworks for the sustainable management of water resources, as well as feasible solutions to bridge the gap between the water availability in the northern countries and scarcity in the south.

…Abu Saud warned that MENA countries are facing a serious challenge as water reserves in these areas might run out within the next few decades. Meanwhile, Jean-Louis Borloo, the French minister of ecology and sustainable development and planning, noted all countries, whether located in the Mediterranean or beyond, would benefit from peace and stability in the region…

A sandstone monument in Jordan's Wadi Rum, shot by David Bjorgen, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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