Water Provision in Arid Areas

Water Provision in Arid Areas

  • Introduction

Water is very essential for both domestic and industrial use. In order to say that an area is arid, a series of environmental evaluations are needed to determine water availability. However, the lack of enough water causes vegetation cover to dry up causing hardships to human beings and animals as a result of inhabitable environment. Arid areas are very dry and are not favorable for both plants and animals.

  • Aim

The aim of conducting this research is to come up with the best water provision method. Among the two methods that have been discussed, one of the best ones is recommended for use to solve the water problems in Jordan. Thus, the main objective is to find the method that best fits Jordan as one of the arid nations.

  • Water Situation in Jordan

Jordan is one of the poorest countries in the world in as far as the water supply is concerned. According to the 2010 government data, the nation had approximately 130 liters per capita. Among several methods of water provision methods in this region include surface water supply methods and groundwater supply methods (Haddadin, 2006).

  • Aim

This report is aimed at comparing two water provision methods in Jordan. The two methods to be compared are surface water supply and groundwater supply. These methods have been defined and clearly elaborated with recommendations at the end.

  • Background

Water shortage in Jordan can be associated with a lack of rivers nearby and long seasons without rainfall. The government of Jordan is not in a good financial position to fund water provision projects like other countries. This is because the country has not received enough profits from oil like its neighbors to fund different declamation plants. What the nation does is invite different world companies that are interested in salt and other minerals, who come and purify the water.

However, this has not made the situation any better as they still experience high water shortages. It is estimated that each household gets 22 gallons of water a day. This water is very little compared to their needs. For instance, a family of eight members depends on this amount of water, it is obvious that they will be forced to forego some activities that require water. This is in relation to other countries in Asia lying in the same border and area such as Saudi Arabia and Israel that gets 65 and 78 water gallons respectively (Warhaft & Steenhuis, 2010).

  • Presentation of the Methods

There are two water supply methods that have been elaborated in this report. These are surface water supply method and underground water supply methods.

  • Surface Water Supply Method

The surface water supply method is one that uses bodies such as rivers, ponds, and lakes as sources of water. Water supplied using this method needs to be treated before it is delivered to various users. For supply to small communities, other forms of water supply are preferred. These forms may be wells and springs. This is mainly because of the cost of treatment, delivery, and maintenance of this water.

The main water supply method in Jordan is the public sector. It provides water to almost all people who practice agriculture in Jordan Valley with surface water that is used for irrigation (Hinman & Hinman, 2002). Jordan Valley Authority (JVA), a government agency based in Jordan Valley, was established to provide an irrigation network that would serve more than 31,174 hectares of land. This was meant to promote agricultural activities along the fertile valley located on the western part of Jordan. This is an area known in the production of fruits and vegetables consumed in Jordan.

The annual surface water supply in Jordan is 214.69 MCM. Jordan Valley alone contributes 108 MCM which is a very large percentage of the total amount. Springs, on the other hand, account for 57.2 CMC while floods and flows provide 49.4 MCM. 73.5% of all surface water is allocated for agriculture. This amounts to more than 152 MCM and most of it is used for agricultural activities done in Jordan Valley. Additionally, after the water has been treated it is not used for irrigation until it is mixed with fresh water. This is to ensure that all pollutants in the treated water are diluted (Warhaft & Steenhuis, 2010). The total amount of treated water amount to 75.4 MCM

The government of Jordan also supplies water for different municipal use. These uses include household and various economic activities such as service providers. The total amount of surface water allocated for these purposes is 54.4 MCM. Industries use more than 2.5 MCM of this water.

  • Ground Water Supply Method

This method of water provision is both private and public sectors in Jordan. Most people who practice agriculture abstract their own groundwater direct without involving the government. This is considered as self-supply. The government of Jordan is trying to monitor and control the use of groundwater as a precautionary measure to avoid overexploitation of this reason by the private sector and agriculture. The government abstracts groundwater for its different purposes other than irrigation. The mining industry abstracts groundwater to be used in their mining activities.

The total amount of groundwater used in Jordan amount to 520 MCM with the agricultural sector using 54%. The Jordan municipal sector uses approximately 40% while the remaining 6% is channeled to industries (Hinman & Hinman, 2002).

4.0 Requirements of the methods

The surface water supply method is best for the Jordan Valley region. Because the method is suitable in areas where there are natural water bodies. The method is also the best for irrigation and this region is where irrigation activities take place. The method can also work well in areas around wells and rivers. The ground supply method works well in areas with groundwater basins. Such areas include Yarmouk, Amman-Zarqa, Red sea, Jafer, Desi and Mudawrah, Azraq and Serhan regions. These are regions that do not have water bodies but have groundwater basins/

  • Requirements of the Methods
  • Cost

The surface water supply method is a bit economical compared to ground provision. It is mainly used in areas around the water body where water is got from. This thus reduces the cost of piping water for long distances than is the case with groundwater. On the other hand, the ground method of water provision may be expensive. This is because the water basin may be very far from the ground level which calls for drilling deeper into the ground. Machinery used to do this job is quite expensive and also requires resources to be maintained. This makes it hard for many families to access water provided by this method (Warhaft & Steenhuis, 2010).

  • Environment

In most cases, water provided through surface method does not pose danger to the environment. However, in case this water was treated from waste materials, it may contain dangerous chemicals that may have not been removed during purification. This is hazardous to both the living things and the environment. The groundwater supply method is safer and more environmental friendly. Unless it is overused and drops in its levels, it does not pose great harm to the environment.

6.1 Recommendations

It is recommended that people should use the surface water supply method. This is because the method is a bit cheap and available to all people including low-income earners. Rivers and wells are natural and people only need to channel this water to their required destinations. In areas where there are no rivers and lakes, they can construct small dams that will act as their reservoirs. So, it is better for people of Jordan to adopt this method of water provision so that that they can get used to it and in the fight against water shortage.

6.2 Conclusion

In conclusion, the government should take the responsibility of providing more facilities to companies and individuals who would like to participate in water provision in Jordan. This is because if people go on using groundwater then there is climate change and there is no rainfall, the country might run short of water. Additionally, people should be encouraged to build more dams in areas where there are no natural water bodies. Jordan should maximize the full potential of both its surface water and provision for economic development.




Haddadin, M. J. (2006). Water resources in Jordan: evolving policies for development, the environment, and conflict resolution. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future.

Hinman, C. W., & Hinman, J. W. (2002). The plight and promise of arid land agriculture. New York: Columbia University Press.

Warhaft, G., & Steenhuis, T. S. (2010). Losing paradise: the water crisis in the Mediterranean. Farnham, England: Ashgate.





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