By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – Water fixtures and electrical appliances that use water will now have their water conservation efficiency tested at the region’s first water efficiency measurement laboratory, which opened at the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) on Thursday.

In a speech delivered on her behalf by RSS Executive Director for External Affairs Tareq Hadid, HRH Princess Sumaya, president of El Hassan Science City and the RSS, stressed the need to preserve the Kingdom’s limited water resources.

Underscoring the importance of the lab, she noted that Jordan is the fourth water-poorest country in the world.

The lab is equipped to measure the efficiency of household and industrial water fixtures and electrical appliances that use water to ensure that they meet the country’s technical requirements and efficiency standards.

Wayne Frank, assistant director of USAID water and environment programmes, noted that several devices and appliances in the local market have been falsely labelled as water-saving or do not work efficiently and actually consume more water

The lab will measure the efficiency of such devices to ensure they are in accordance with Jordanian standards, he said.

USAID supported the establishment of the laboratory, in cooperation with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, RSS and the Jordan Institution for Standards and Metrology.

Mohammad Chebaan, chief of party for the USAID-funded IDARA (Instituting Water Demand Management in Jordan) project, described the establishment of the lab as a milestone in Jordan’s water management and efficiency process.

He noted that the four pillars for efficient water demand management – standards, codes, a laboratory and a water demand management unit at the ministry – are now completed.

“What we need now are enforcement mechanisms as well as customs department incentives for importers of water-saving devices that comply with our standards,” Chebaan said.

He highlighted that IDARA is currently formulating enforcement mechanisms and incentives to achieve water management and efficiency in Jordan.

Water management in Jordan means saving every available drop, Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Najjar said at the inauguration ceremony, noting that the ministry has issued regulations obliging contractors to build water wells or reservoirs for saving rainwater in new buildings.