Water, climate and energy: the Netherlands and Jordan

The Netherlands is your partner in tackling water, climate and energy issues.

NL in Jordan

Jordan is one of the five water scarcest countries in the world. 97% of Jordan’s energy is imported as fossil fuel. With the influx of refugees, the pressure on Jordan’s water, energy and food production has increased. The Netherlands works with Jordan to help address these challenges.

Water

The Netherlands actively shares its water expertise through a cooperation between the academic water instute IHE Delft, the Jordanian Ministrof Water and Irrigation and several Jordanian academic institutes. This cooperation has three components. 1) Desalination of seawater, which is part of the Red Sea Dead Sea project and has a focus on capacity building for the first Jordanian desalination plant. 2) Training courses on wastewater reuse for agriculture in Jordan, while ensuring safety for public health and the environment. 3) Training courses and knowledge exchange on water diplomacy focusing on negotiation skills and potential conflict. Under this program, water experts from the whole MENA region are brought together to discuss challenges and solutions to water scarcity in the region.

Energy

Dutch development bank FMO has invested in several solar and wind power generation projects in Jordan for a total of 85 mln USD, including a regional fund. Through these investments, the Ducth development bank helps to meet the growing demand for electricity in Jordan and implement Jordan’s renewable energy strategy. Solar and wind generated power will diversify Jordan’s fuel mix and provide energy security from a domestic resource. More renewable energy will reduce the use of fossil fuels and lead to reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate change

Due to the effects of climate change, the available water in Jordan will decrease further. More water will need to reused and produced from seawater, using domestic renewable energy instead of expensive imported fuels. Some forms of food production through agriculture will become increasingly expensive; regional trade in agricultural products offers solutions. The Netherlands works with Jordan and other countries in the MENA regio to address these issues through two regional initiatives: 1) a regional dialogue between international experts and regional policy makers on the best policies for the water-energy-food nexus, as part of the Planetary Security Initiative (https://www.planetarysecurityinitiative.org/). 2) FAO with Dutch support built a database to monitor the water productivity in the whole of Africa and the Middle East. With these data, governments and farmers have insight in their water used for agriculture. As part of the further development of the database, Dutch water experts will train farmers on the best use of the available water and government officials on national strategies for optimal water use.