By JT – Oct 13,2015

AMMAN — US Ambassador Alice G. Wells and Water Minister Hazem Nasser marked on Tuesday 60 years of cooperation between the US and Jordan to develop the Kingdom’s water sector at a ceremony held at Al Hussein Youth City.

Wells stressed the US’ recognition of the unique challenges faced by Jordan as one of the world’s most water-poor countries, as well as the importance of water and sanitation for economic development, public health, and peace and security, according to a USAID statement.

She underlined the “power of partnership” between the US and Jordan in the area of water since the 1950s, the statement said.

Nasser noted that water is central to Jordan’s social and economic development and that close cooperation between the two countries has contributed greatly to the advancement of Jordan’s water infrastructure and services.

The ceremony marked the completion of USAID’s $16 million Institutional Support and Strengthening Project, which involved collaboration with the Water Ministry, the Water Authority of Jordan, the Jordan Valley Authority, and water utilities to restructure the ministry, enhance well management practices, and adapt strategic water planning to changing demographics, according to the statement.

The US will commit an additional $125 million to Jordan’s water sector over the next five years, the statement added.

Since USAID completed studies for the first master plan for water development in the Jordan River Basin in the 1950s, the US government also constructed the King Abdullah Canal in the 1960s and built or enhanced wastewater facilities in several Jordanian cities in the 1980s.

In addition, it initiated construction on As Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant in 2003 and subsequently invested another $275 million for its expansion, which will be completed this month, as well as for work on water and wastewater networks in Zarqa, according to the USAID statement.

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