By Laila Azzeh

AMMAN –– Public sector representatives on Thursday drew up action plans to implement long-term comprehensive water conservation programmes in their respective institutions.

In a workshop organised by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in cooperation with the USAID-funded IDARA Project yesterday, participants were acquainted with the recommendations of the national Water Demand Management (WDM) Policy.

“The workshops enable local government staff to tailor their respective water conservation plans to the challenges in their particular community by identifying what areas of the WDM policy can be applied,” Jamal Hijazi, head of the WDM unit at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, told The Jordan Times yesterday.

He added that local experts in water management briefed participants, who represent institutions affiliated with the ministries of industry and trade and housing and public works, on water conservation methods and processes.

Experts in the workshop highlighted several measures to limit water consumption in Jordan, such as applying state-of-the-art water conservation technologies and enforcing appropriate legislation to reduce water loss.

Munjid Sharif, IDARA representative, underlined the importance of conserving water in reducing energy consumption, indicating that nearly 20 per cent of the energy in the Kingdom is lost in water use, pumping and transportation.

“We all, irrespective of our area of work, need to take the responsibility in reducing water use,” Sharif stressed, calling for incorporating water-saving methods in building codes.

According to government figures, water loss, a key challenge facing water authorities in Jordan, costs the Kingdom around JD100 million annually.

A recent study conducted by the Department of Statistics (DoS) showed that the demand for water in the Kingdom’s various sectors rose by 16.8 per cent between 1999 and 2008. Water demand for domestic purposes reached 315 million cubic metres (mcm) in 2008 compared to 231mcm in 1999, an increase of 36.2 per cent, according to the DoS.