Jordan - Country Commercial Guide
Environment and Water Sector
Last published date:

Overview

As one of the most water-scarce countries in the world, water is a valued commodity in Jordan.  Only 90 cubic meters of water is available for consumption per person annually, with studies expecting this share to continue to decline to reach 60 cubic meters annually by 2040.   The renewable water resources barely meet 50 percent of the country’s total water consumption, making interruptions a common occurrence. A range of factors exacerbate Jordan’s already precarious water situation including low rainfall, increased demand due to population growth, economic development, unsustainable agricultural and aquifer/ground water pumping practices, as well as non-revenue water losses, limited water resources, deteriorating water quality, and climate change.  Jordan’s water is utilized by three main sectors - agricultural, municipal/domestic, and industrial – which together consume close to one billion cubic meters annually. The agricultural sector is the most significant consumer of water resources in the country, followed by municipal/domestic and industrial sectors.

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) and the Ministry of Environment (MoE) handle water and environment related issues in Jordan. MoE manages the Jordan Environment Fund that includes grant funding from national and foreign organizations.  The Fund acts as an implementation arm for MoE in delivering supporting activities that contribute to environmental protection and conservation and development of environment friendly practices. U.S. firms are encouraged to monitor tender opportunities issued by both ministries, as well as the three water utilities – Miyahuna, Yarmouk Water Company, and Aqaba Water Company – each of which cover different parts of the country.

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation’s 2023-2040 National Water Strategy (NWS) aims to achieve water security with a focus on integrated water resource management.  The NWS seeks to safeguard and preserve groundwater and surface water sources, while strictly enforcement of water usage and protection laws.  The strategy relies on exploring non-traditional water sources and developing projects like the National Water Carrier Project and wastewater treatment to enhance and sustain the water supply.

Non-Revenue Water (NRW) remains a significant challenge in Jordan, amounting for approximately 50 percent of Jordan’s extracted water. A long-term national plan was unveiled in June 2022 with the goal of reducing national water losses to less than 25 percent by 2040, creating several opportunities for U.S. companies in this area.

Recent studies in the agriculture sector have indicated that Jordanian farmers often use two to five times more water than needed. Agriculture contributes about five percent to Jordan’s GDP, but consumes more that 50 percent of the country’s freshwater resources.

The use of wastewater in Jordan is growing due to water scarcity, and the government is concentrating efforts on the improvement of wastewater for agriculture use. Jordan has 33 wastewater treatment plants to treat and reuse wastewater (around 190MCM in 2021). The government seeks new technologies in several areas, including treatment of toxic organic and inorganic chemicals; recycling wastewater treatment sludge; and improved energy efficiency at treatment facilities. 

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Wastewater treatment
  • Non-Revenue Water management
  • Desalination
  • Smart efficiency solutions (Energy efficiency)

Opportunities

As the United States is Jordan’s largest donor in the water sector, USAID has a long history of supporting projects that enhance water security. 

U.S. firms will find both export- and project-based business opportunities involving infrastructure development, smart water technologies for agriculture and water (systems that automate monitoring and metering, treatment, distribution, loss, and leakage) and training/consultation services associated with water conservation, wastewater treatment, and desalination. Opportunities may range from utility company tenders to government-driven PPPs to donor-financed projects.

U.S. Companies are highly encouraged to participate in Jordanian utility bids.   

Examples of ongoing or upcoming water projects include: 

  • National Conveyance Project (NCP):  The $2.9 billion project will provide 300 million cubic meters of desalinated water from the Gulf of Aqaba to Amman per year. The NCP will be implemented by early 2024 and expected to produce desalinated water by 2028.
  • Reduction of Non-Revenue Water (NRW) Projects: The Ministry of Water and Irrigation regularly issues  tenders to modernize water networks in most regions of the Kingdom. Nearly half of Jordan’s water is lost through leaks, theft, and inaccurate metering. Currently there are several projects under implementation funded by the United States Agency for International Development to reduce waste and modernize and upgrade networks. In May 2023, the Ministry announced a 2.2 percent decrease in water loss.
  • Smart Metering, Monitoring & Controlling Systems Under NRW Project: This $70 million project is part of an NRW project with Jordanian water utilities and is ongoing through July 2025.

Resources

  • Ministry of Environment
  • Ministry of Water and Irrigation
  • Water Authority of Jordan
  • Jordan Green Growth National Action Plans 2021-2025: Water sector | Green Growth Knowledge Platform
  • Water Resources & Environment | Jordan | U.S. Agency for International Development (usaid.gov)

For additional information, please contact U.S Commercial Service - Jordan at office.amman@trade.gov.