The Search For Water Moves At A Snail’s Pace

Two articles of interest caught my attention today, both related to water in Jordan, or the lack thereof:

Jordan has invited private firms to tender for the Disi project — estimated to cost 944 million dollars — on a build, operate and transfer basis under a 25-year-concession agreement.

“The treasury will handle around 220 million dollars of the project, which is expected to be ready in 2011 or 2012 to help tackle a growing water deficit,” said Oweis. Water drawn from Disi would meet Amman’s demands for 50 years, experts say. [source]

On the Red-Dead Canal, Oweis is quoted as saying: “it will solve the water problem in Jordan and the region”.

According to the Jordan Times, the multi-million dollar economic feasibility study and environmental assessment of the $2-4 billion Red-Dead Canal, is scheduled to start within three weeks. The study will be done in about 2 years with officials saying there are plans to reduce that period to 18 months, which means it will take 2 years.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s growth is at 3.5% with hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees, Egyptian, Indian and Philipino workers. So the only realistic solution seems to be banning all non-Jordanians, and as for the rest of us, we should implement China’s one-child policy and start drinking Pepsi. I think it’s cheaper anyways.

One would think that in a country that is this water-stricken, the move to get these projects would be just a little bit faster.

Just a little.


  • I would assume that the dead-red canal will be tied to some serious “concessions”. And the disi project, you know, a minister was kicked out because he wanted to open up the issue of the “investments” in that area. So…I don’t know, eat cake and drink juice or olive oil.

  • I seriously think we should implement a 3 child max policy, I mean come on I think 3 children should be more than enough for anybody.

  • I think there would have to be an allowance for gender. If your first child is a girl then you can have a second child. If your second child is a girl, you can keep going. You know how it is…jaabat bint.

    Either that or there would have to be a law against figuring out your child’s gender before birth.

    But yeah, while one child may be too drastic I think clearly the demographic picture is not good.

  • Salaam ‘Alaikum

    I hope that comment above is a wry observation on the way the birth of a female child is viewed by some in the ME. Personally, I find the idea of the government limiting how many children a couple can have to be very 1984-Brave New World. I also don’t necessarily believe it’s the people who have larger families — and let’s be honest, many of them don’t live in Abdoun and Um Uthaina — who are to blame for the water situation. Where are the personal swimming pools and indoor jacuzzis again? Jebel Nadhif?

    Perhaps teaching people to better use water would help. Although a lot of people *are* water conscious, you also see a lot of waste and ill use of water. Perhaps pushing on treaties regarding water supply would also help. Reforesting would also help, although that is a long term solution of course, and one that is underway in a limited way in parts of the north. Bring the saltos back to Salt, I say.

  • UmmZaid, i was being sarcastic about both the banning of non-Jordanians and the 1984-ish child control program.

    on a more serious note, i would argue that that the 5-8% of the population that has swimming pools or lives in the wealthy areas of jordan, have a higher wastage rate but overall, i assume that that small percentage of the population probably consumes less water than the majority of the population.

    that being said, i’ve always had qualms with the whole free-hand that comes with people building swimming pools or businesses building these water parks.

  • Swimming pools don’t actually use up that much water because its mostly the same water being recycled through the pool for a whole year, occasionally it has to be topped up I guess. But the amount of water that is wasted on toilet flushes is probably much much larger, especially that most of our toilets don’t have the separated button which gives the user the option to go for a small flush when a large one is unnecessary.
    1984-ish or not I think some sort of birth control is necessary, not only are we using up our scarce resources but our high population growth rate means we have to always be running just to stay in our place, incomes are divided between 7 or 8 people instead of 3 or 4, its unsustainable and self-defeating.

  • I watched a program a few weeks ago about the “dry toilets” being used in Europe. This is a new trend that is really catching on, no ickiness, no smell. They tried them out in Algeria, of all places, and everyone said “we are Muslim, we will not use a dry toilet,” so there goes that solution. (actually water can be put in them, but they do not flush or refill in the way we are used to).

    I bet the new towers are going to suck all the water from Umm Uthaina.

  • Well, maybe it’s not a priority for teh goevrnement since it’s too busy making people’s life miserbale, or else who will be responsible for rising life expenses!

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