by Hana Namrouqa | Mar 15,2012 | 22:22

AMMAN — Mobile phone users will start soon receiving SMSs guiding them on ways to improve their water use efficiency, an official at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation said on Thursday.

The SMSs will be sent to Jordanians as part of a campaign that seeks to raise public awareness on the need to reduce water consumption and protect water resources from pollution, Adnan Zu’bi, the ministry’s spokesperson and assistant secretary general, told The Jordan Times yesterday.

The campaign, which aims at changing individuals’ behaviour, will be implemented under an agreement between the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and the Zain Group.

The mobile telecommunications company, with a subscriber base of over 2.7 million across Jordan, will start sending short messages urging people to ration their water consumption and giving advice on ways to help conserve the precious resource, according to Zu’bi.

Telecommunications Regulatory Commission figures indicate that mobile penetration in Jordan reached 120 per cent by the end of 2011, with about 7.482 million subscriptions.

Zu’bi noted that with the spread of mobile phones, delivering messages to the public on the Kingdom’s critical water situation and ways to reduce water consumption will help build awareness.

A total of 84 per cent of Jordanians recognise that the country suffers from a shortage of water, while more than half believe that water scarcity is a “very critical problem”, according to a survey carried out by the USAID-funded Public Action for Water, Energy and Environment project.

The survey, which covered 1,000 households, also measured the public’s current water-saving activities, indicating that the most common method for conserving the precious resource is using buckets instead of hoses for cleaning purposes, with 66 per cent of respondents saying they did so.

Another 33 per cent said they use water-saving devices, which officials say can reduce water consumption by up to 30 per cent.