Energy-water-food-ecosystem nexus serves as project’s foundation

By JT – May 08,2023

AMMAN — The Swedish International Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Global Water Partnership (Mediterranean) on Monday inaugurated a project in Salt Governorate that will allow the use of wastewater in irrigating crops using solar energy in three farms in the Wadi Shuaib area.

The interconnection of environmental systems, water, energy and food represents an effective approach to addressing the climate change crisis that casts its shadows on Jordan, which is now suffering from water scarcity due to recurrent droughts and rising temperatures. This interconnectedness was translated into the project, which was implemented by the Global Water Partnership (Mediterranean) and funded by SIDA through the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in Jordan, with the aim of creating a wetland system and nature-based solutions for treating wastewater, according to a statement from the Global Water Partnership.

Swedish Ambassador in Amman, Alexandra Rydmark, said during the inauguration that “Jordan and the countries of the region suffer from water scarcity, in addition to the harsh effects of climate change, which will make us face more challenges in the future.”

Therefore, “there is a need to use every drop of water by finding ways that can ensure it is more efficiently used than before, which has been translated into this project,” she added.

Rydmark added that “Jordan is one of the leading and pioneering countries in the field of using treated water in the region, thus serving as a model at both the regional and international levels.”

Since Jordan is one of the world’s most water poor countries due to the increasing consequences of climate change, there was a need to work in an integrated manner within an approach that integrates water, energy, food and ecosystem issues, said President of the Global Water Partnership, Michael Scoullos.

“Having a healthy ecosystem is extremely important if we want to succeed in the water, energy, and food security sectors,” Scoullos said.

“The project inaugurated today is a vivid example of the link between the four sectors of energy, water, food security, and environmental systems within a single work approach,” Scoullos added. However, “working on a wastewater recycling project was not easy in Jordan, because the concept of using treated wastewater was not acceptable to local community members,” he added. Despite this, “three projects were completed in the Salt area, Wadi Shuaib, and another in Palestine, and we are now close to local communities, and we are striving to expand the dissemination of these projects in other countries in the future.”

For his part, UFM Deputy Secretary-General, Mu’taz Al Abbadi, emphasised that “Jordan is a centre of interest because it suffers from water scarcity, and this drives us to work with financiers to ensure that funding is spent on implementing priority projects for the Kingdom.”

Abbadi explained that “the project links the water, energy, environmental systems and food security sectors, which positively reflect on the local community by creating more job opportunities for its members while raising awareness about the importance of treated water and its uses.” He stressed the need to “integrate the approach of food security, water, energy and environmental systems within the policies adopted by the government and in implementing water treatment projects and others on the ground.”

Ghazi Abu Rumman, Director of Operations of the Global Water Partnership in Jordan, gave an overview of the project and its objectives, which can be summarised as “using treated wastewater and local environmental systems for agricultural production, benefiting from so