Reduce vulnerability in Jordan in the context of water scarcity and increasing food/energy demand


The rationale of this project is to reduce vulnerability of rural Jordanian and other disadvantaged communities in the context of water scarcity for agriculture, increased demand for food and livelihood provision from growing populations, and rising energy demand. To this end, the project pilots a three-pronged, community­ based approach, combining water harvesting, conjunctive use of groundwater, and solar power for lifting irrigation water.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Jordan
Agriculture & food security
Water
Agricultural water resources
Water resources conservation
Water supply
01.12.2015 - 31.12.2019
CHF 2'050'000
Background

Jordan, a water scarce country, has an estimated renewable water resource of 148m3 per capita per year. Scarcity is driven primarily by its arid to semi-arid climatic regime and by population increases experienced in recent decades as a result of both natural growth and recent immigration/refugee intake from the crisis in Syria. Of all its water resources, the status of the groundwater is of critical concern because its use requires careful planning and management to sustain human socio-economic development and ecosystems. Yet, groundwater resources are under the threat from mismanagement and over-exploitation, linked in particular to the expansion of irrigated agriculture. Agriculture in Jordan accounts for almost 60% of freshwater withdrawals, making it the largest user of water, placing the greatest pressure on groundwater resources. Agriculture also consumes energy, typically for pumping water from wells and pushing water through irrigation systems. Yet, energy supply poses challenges because of the lack of local energy resources and high demand. Moreover, the use of water and energy in agriculture are inter-linked which means that increased demand or pressure in any one sector has flow-on effects in the others. Nevertheless, agriculture supports a large number of livelihoods in Jordan, particularly in rural areas.

Objectives

To increase resilience of rural Jordanian and other disadvantaged communities in the context of water scarcity for agriculture, increasing demand for food and livelihood provision from growing populations, and rising energy demand.

The project will focus on the northern region where the impacts of the humanitarian crisis on the Water-Food-Energy nexus are the most tangible.

Target groups

Beneficiaries include the communities of small- scale farmers and family farmers who will benefit from increased yields through the increased reliability in their water supply through surface water and groundwater availability. The most vulnerable groups within Jordanian society, including, women, youths, poor households, ethnic minorities and disadvantaged communities (e.g., vulnerable migrants and refugees) in the project area will also benefit from improved water management and reduced vulnerability to shocks/rising demands. The project will encourage the participation of these vulnerable groups in all consultations planned at national level in order to foster community decision-making and improve their access to communal ecosystem resources. The number of beneficiaries depends on the selection of the site where the operational project will be implemented.

Medium-term outcomes

Provision of sustainable agricultural water resources and their efficient management through the application of the three-pronged approach (water harvesting, conjunctive use of groundwater and solar-powered drip irrigation) in Jordan.

Results

Expected results:  

  1. Fully developed and operational area of water harvesting with conjunctive groundwater and solar power for lifting irrigation water;
  2. Strengthened national capacities to adopt, operate and maintain the proposed the three-pronged approach (water harvesting, conjunctive use of groundwater, solar-powered irrigation);
  3. Established community of practice, empowered and fully responsible for operating the three- pronged approach;
  4. Prepared appropriate long-term policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks to facilitate the adoption and scale-up of the three-pronged approach and integrate it within national food- water-energy related policies/strategies and programmes;
  5. Produced and widely disseminated to relevant stakeholders in the country outreach materials, including guides, technical reports, etc.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Food and Agricultural Organisation
  • Foreign private sector South/East


Other partners

Policy-makers, decision-makers and technical experts at relevant ministries- Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR), Jordan Valley Authority (JVA), as well as research institutions and universities

Coordination with other projects and actors

The project contributes to UNDAF's priorities in Jordan. and to FAO's Country Programme Framework (CPF). The project also aligns with FAO's Regional Initiatives in the Near East and North Africa Region, particularly the Water Scarcity Initiative and Small-Scale Agriculture for Inclusive Development. In addition, the project harmonizes with several of Jordan's national strategies and plans. During the inception phase of the project, FAO will conduct a screening and contact other actors to map the relevant projects and identify all actors and stakeholders. However, none of the other potential actors are doing the same approach (the 3-pronged approach).

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   2'050'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   1'922'095 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF  0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF  2'000'000
Project phases Phase 1 01.12.2015 - 31.12.2019   (Current phase)