Fighting water scarcity: the Water-DROP project encourages rainwater harvesting in Jordan

Water scarcity is recognized by many governments and international organizations among the main challenges to be addressed in order to ensure adequate standards of living for populations worldwide. In the 2014 edition of the World Water Development Water Report, the United Nations highlight that "global demand for water is expected to grow significantly for all major water use sectors" i.e. agriculture, domestic and industry. Although there is no global water scarcity as such according to the UN, an increasing number of regions are chronically short of water. Jordan is one of these regions. In the Balqa Governorate, the Water-DROP project is working to encourage local communities to make most use of rainwater. 

"Jordan suffers from an increasing water crisis," says Sameeh Nuimat, IUCN’s responsible for the Water-DROP project. "Recent statistics are crystal clear: Jordan now ranks as the world’s second water-poorest country, where water per capita is 88 per cent below the international water poverty line," he adds.

The Water-DROP project acts locally to address the issue of water scarcity. A total of 5 public schools and 20 households have been chosen in the Balqa Governorate to benefit from practical solutions which improve access to water. Roofs of selected houses and schools are currently being refurbished in order to be fitted with water collection systems connected to underground tanks. "During the dry session, my family will have more secure access to water for drinking, cooking and irrigating," says Eid Mahmoud Ali Zuby, who lives in the Jalald pilot village.

Water conservation pilot actions in Italy, Lebanon and Palestine 

The Water-DROP project also seeks to better water management at local level in Italy, Lebanon and Palestine where it undertakes the following pilot actions:

• reduction of seawater pollution risk in Lebanon, thanks to the monitoring of several rivers and the implementation of a set of targeted interventions including improvement of a sewage system and phytodepuration in trout farms on the Assi River;
• development of a water treatment plant in Palestine to purify domestic wastewater which are reused for irrigating olive and fruit orchards;
• protection of Torre Flavia area near Rome, a natural wetland rich in fauna and flora with wastewater auto-depurative capacity.

"In the strategy of Water-DROP, these pilot actions have a crucial role. On one hand, they represent the project’s response to the needs of the territories. On the other hand they will lead to the design of a new tool - a Decision Support System integrated by a Geographical Information System - that helps the development of an integrated water cycle management," says Riccardo Ceccarelli, the project’s coordinator.

Besides pilot actions, training courses for technicians in the water sector and public awareness, the Water-DROP project foresees the participation of a wide spectrum of stakeholders brought together in a Mediterranean Task Force which works towards the harmonization of water management policies and norms.

For more information, please contact Riccardo Ceccarelli, Water-DROP project’s coordinator:; +39 0630483509.

Water-DROP website