Jordan has announced that the work on the first phase of the Jordan Red Sea Project (JRSP) will commence in 2013. The project aims to provide the Hashemite Kingdom with one billion cubic meters of water by 2022, aiding the existing Disi Water Conveyance Project, to reduce the country’s acute water problems.
“Water is a sovereign sector to Jordan…the country’s water security is dependent on the desalination of seawater in the future,” Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation Mousa Jamani said in a statement.
The first phase of the JRSP will draw water from the Red Sea and channel it through pipelines to a desalination plant in Aqaba. Treated water will then be distributed to cities on the coast. A Jordanian delegation visited the USA in February to select a developer for the project.
According to the ministry, gated communities, resorts, and industries will be established around the plant. The statement added that water provided by the JRSP will be vital to the economic development programme of the country.
Jamani also stressed that demand for water is skyrocketing at an alarming rate recently as thousands of people from Iraq and Syria seek refuge in the country. Jordan already suffers from over-pumping and disputes over shared aquifers and rivers with neighbouring countries.
“With the Disi project water and good management, we will be able to meet demands for water for the various sectors,” Jamani said while adding that measures to increase water availability through the Disi Water Conveyance Project, which provides 100 million cubic meters of water every year, have proven successful but are a short term fix for the problem.
Around a third of the Disi Project, which provides water through a pipeline to Amman from the Disi aquifer in southern Jordan, is still incomplete.