Jordanians, officials or otherwise, have long acknowledged that there is a growing water problem that needs to be taken care of urgently.

But while the need to deal with the problem is pressing, the measures hopefully envisaged should cater to both the immediate and long-term needs.

In other words, patching a pipe here, tightening a screw there will simply not do.

Efforts have been exerted, undeniably, like replacing a big part of the water network, at least in Amman, or promptly taking care of leakages, but they are not enough.

Jordan is among the poorest countries in terms of water sources and the recent water shortages in the north of the country and elsewhere did not take anyone by surprise. An annoyance, yes, but not unexpected. Which brings one to the issue of preparedness.

Taking care of the water shortage threat poses a big challenge to the country. So the sooner things are addressed and strategies are drawn the better.

Much has been said about conveying water from the Disi aquifer, in the south of the country, to Amman. And things have started to move, but even when this mega-project is completed, it will not be the ideal answer to the future water needs of the country.

Other water sources may need to be explored and exploited, including desalinating Red Sea water.

Linking the Red and Dead seas has been a subject of discussion for quite a long time, but there are no noticeable signs that the project will take off any time soon.

More dams to collect rainwater seem to be erected wherever possible, yet a huge amount of precious water is lost.

All things considered, it is imperative to realise that the water problem needs to be shouldered by government and people alike.

Citizens are the ultimate users, so until they start rationing water use, they should not expect too much from the government.

Campaigns to raise awareness to the need to conserve water are never enough. They should be carried out constantly, in the hope that a stop is put to water wastage. Doing so is a collective responsibility because this resource is a common good. What use is it switching off the tap while one brushes one’s teeth when the next-door neighbour liberally washes his car with the hose?

It is hoped that now that summer is over and the rainy season starts, the water problem will not be forgotten. Water has to be harvested when offered by nature if next summer we do not wish to suffer from more shortages.