By Hana Namrouqa – Sep 14,2015 –

AMMAN — The Ministry of Water and Irrigation on Sunday urged the public against using municipal water for cleaning gardens and pavements, warning that it would suspend water services to households found in violation of its instructions.

In a statement, the ministry called on people to ration the use of the water they receive under the water distribution programme and to only use it for domestic purposes.

Ministry of Water and Irrigation Spokesperson Omar Salameh said that in light of the ongoing hot weather, demand for water is increasing and pumping stations are operating around-the-clock to keep up with the “unprecedented demand for water”.

“Water consumption is on the rise because of the high temperatures and because the number of water consumers has increased. This is putting further strain on water resources and thus the ministry seeks to make sure that the water, which is precious in terms of its cost and availability, is not being wasted in watering gardens and cleaning pavements,” Salameh told The Jordan Times over the phone.

The ministry suggested that consumers use buckets for outdoor cleaning in order to conserve as much water as possible and warned against the use of hoses, noting that wasting water deprives other consumers from their water rights.

“Wasting water is illegal; therefore, the ministry will suspend water services from any household found in violation of our instructions. In addition, violators will be fined, while water services will not be restored until the subscriber signs a pledge to conserve water,” Salameh said.

The Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ) released in May a study that showed that only 5 per cent of domestic water is used for drinking and cooking purposes, while 45 per cent is used in bathrooms and for garden irrigation.

The study also showed that showers account for 30 per cent of the supplied domestic water used in bathrooms, while 20 per cent is used for washing clothes and cleaning houses.

The ministry said that wasting water is more common in urban areas; therefore, WAJ and the water companies will intensify inspection campaigns on households.

Jordan ranks as the world’s second water-poorest country, where water per capita is 88 per cent below the international water poverty line of 1,000 cubic metres annually.

The available water resources in Jordan offer 800-900 million cubic metres of water annually, according to the ministry, which it is said provides for the needs of only 3 million people, while the number of water users in Jordan now exceeds 10 million.

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