By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – The Ministry of Water and Irrigation has started installing water-saving devices in public schools in Amman to reduce consumption of water by 30 per cent, officials said on Wednesday.

The campaign is part of a pilot project that entails installing high-efficiency water fixtures in mosques and schools, which are categorised as large water consumers, the ministry’s spokesperson and assistant secretary general, Adnan Zu’bi, said yesterday.

“This is the second phase of the campaign. Certain public schools will be equipped with the water fixtures to reduce water use and raise children’s awareness on the need to conserve water,” he told The Jordan Times.

Under a pilot project, the fixtures were installed in 20 mosques and are now being installed in 20 public schools in the capital to raise awareness on the importance of reducing use and introduce the role of water-saving devices in reducing consumption.

Each school will be fitted with 50 devices, while 30-40 fixtures were installed in each mosque, according to the ministry.

The devices will be distributed and installed free of charge by Sayegh Brothers for Engineering Industries Company, which signed an agreement with the ministry in June to launch the project in Amman.

“The campaign for installing water fixtures is part of the ministry’s plans to raise awareness on the need to reduce water use. The ministry carried out several similar campaigns to encourage efficient water use,” Zu’bi underscored.

He noted that the project seeks to introduce people to water-saving devices and their role in reducing water consumption and water bills, while also encouraging them to install the fixtures in their homes.

As part of the pilot project, which is supported by the USAID-funded IDARA (Instituting Water Demand Management in Jordan) project, the Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna) will measure water use both before and after the installation of the devices to determine how much has been saved.

A water auditing study carried out by IDARA indicated that schools and mosques consume large amounts of water, ranking fourth after the tourism sector, hospitals and public sector buildings in terms of water consumption.

The same study indicated that 70 per cent of water consumption in mosques is from faucets.

Official figures indicate that there are around 3,300 public schools across the country, while the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs website states that there are around 6,243 mosques in Jordan, with another 772 mosques currently under construction.