Abul Saud calls on public to use water ‘with high sense of responsibility’

By Hana Namrouqa – Mar 23,2020

AMMAN — The Kingdom’s water resources are operating at their highest capacity to meet the rising demand for water, which has soared by 40 per cent since the government imposed a nationwide lockdown on Saturday to curb the spread of COVID-19, officials at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation said on Monday.

Since the government announced the curfew on Friday, the number of water complaints increased and water consumption soared, officials said.

According to Water Minister Raed Abul Saud, the number of complaints increased by up to 60 per cent when the curfew was announced.

The ministry is now operating its water resources and mega projects, such as the Disi Water Conveyance Project, at their maximum capacity to cater to the rising demand, Abul Saud said in a statement sent to The Jordan Times on Monday.

“We reassure people that water supply across the board is going smoothly despite the huge increase in water consumption, which reached 40 per cent due to the rise in water use for domestic purposes…” he said in the statement.

The ministry’s teams are operating round-the-clock to ensure that the Kingdom’s water supply remains strong and distribution continues uninterrupted, the statement said.

Under the water distribution programme, which began in the early 1980s in response to the Kingdom’s scarce water resources, households receive water once a week on a rotating basis.

“We reassure people that they will receive their water share under the water distribution programme on time and with sufficient amounts,” the minister stressed.

The increasing demand for water is placing extra pressure and burdens on the water sector, Abul Saud said, urging the public to understand that Jordan is navigating “unprecedented and exceptional” circumstances, as is the whole world.

“Under these circumstances, we call upon the public to use water with a high sense of responsibility and to make sure that home water systems and tankers are operating efficiently,” Abul Saud said in the statement.

Meanwhile, a ministry official said that the rise in the number of water complaints and the increase in water consumption are both “understandable”, as people are confined to their homes.

“As soon as the government announced the curfew, we started receiving more and more water complaints. People were worried that they will not receive water because of the curfew, but we reassure them all that we are working day and night to ensure a smooth and constant supply,” Abul Saud told The Jordan Times.

However, the number of complaints and calls is now dropping as people receive reassurance from the ministry that water supply will remain unchanged, he noted.

“We ask that people cooperate with us to ensure the sustainability of water resources,” the official said.