SCARCE (Desalination, Diplomacy and Water reuse in the Middle East)

  • Research & Development
  • 713.565 project budget
  • May 2016 - Dec 2022
  • Partners: Jordan Water Authority, Al-Balqa' Applied University, University of Jordan, Yarmouk Water Company, Jordan Valley Authority, Jordan Environmental NGOs Federation, UNRWA and Palestinian Water Authorities, Marine Research Institure Aqaba
  • Donor: Stichting IHE Delft
  • Donor Programme: DGIS - UNESCO-IHE Programmatic Coorperation II
Middle East and North Africa
Middle East and North Africa

To address water scarcity caused by increasing population, refugee influx and climate change, Jordan is tapping into resources such as sea water and brackish ground water and maximizing wastewater reuse in agriculture. This project will establish training courses on these challenges at two universities and at the Water Authority, to be included in their permanent training programmes. Course content will be up-to-date with the latest science and tailor made to address practical problems. Seawater Desalination is part of the Red Sea Dead Sea project that includes the first seawater desalination plant in Jordan. Capacity development is therefore essential and two training courses on this topic will be delivered, supplemented by water quality monitoring studies. As a result the Jordanian partners will be able to reduce chemical and energy consumption of the plant. It will desalinate 100 million cubic meters yearly, to be shared with Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Therefore two courses will be delivered on Diplomacy: these will focus on potential conflicts, negotiation and conflict transformation skills. Desalination of Brackish Ground Water: Groundwater used for drinking and irrigation in Jordan often has high salinity, consequently desalination is required. The number of plants in Jordan is rapidly increasing, but the salinity of the groundwater is causing technical problems, resulting in short lifetime of facilities. A TOOLBOX of practical measures will be developed and disseminated to partners, in order to increase water availability from the installations, at lower cost. Waste water is reused in agriculture in Jordan, but most reused water does not comply with Jordanian standards and therefore threatens the environment (groundwater) and public health (contamination of water sources and food crops). The training courses and supplementary individual study projects will focus on improvement of existing wastewater treatment plants and irrigation schemes in terms of design, operation and management.


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