Dutch Embassy Signs a 5-Million Euro Agreement

Amman — A 5-million Euro agreement was signed by the Dutch embassy and the Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM), to implement a 3-year rainwater harvesting project in the Jordan Valley in partnership with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and the Jordan Valley Authority.

The project comprises 4 main components, including starting a national dialogue on water harvesting policy with the aim of devising proper legislation, and the setup of rainwater harvesting catchment areas as well as smart farms. 

The third component is related to building the capacities of water ministry staff and other key stakeholders on water harvesting techniques and groundwater replenishment.

The fourth, and final, component centers around key learnings and success stories from water harvesting efforts and ensure that such endeavors are commensurate with the national water management policy and adaptation to climate change. 

In a statement, secretary-general of the water ministry Jihad Mahamid stressed that Jordan is a global “trailblazer” in rainwater harvesting projects, indicating that the water sector always seeks to come up with the best solutions for water scarcity amidst growing challenges exacerbated by climate change.

Secretary-General of the Jordan Valley Authority Manar Mahasneh underlined the need for further investment in rainwater harvesting, especially in the Jordan Valley region from which comes the majority of the Kingdom’s agro produce.

Dutch ambassador Harry Verweij said that an integrated management of water resources is vital for enabling Jordan to address climate change and the depletion of groundwater resources, stressing that rainwater harvesting is crucial for easing current pressures on the water sector. 

The ambassador described the project as a “real” Jordanian-Dutch partnership bringing together government parties, the academia, and private sector stakeholders. “We have no doubts that it [the project] will yield fruitful results”, Verweij added. 

INWRDAM Director Marwan Raggad said climate change has made precipitation duration in Jordan shorter but more intense, which, according to Raggad, lead to higher flood risks and loss of freshwater.

He underlined the need for a recharge-retain-reuse water management approach to address the repercussions of climate change and enable local communities.