Jordan ranks amongst the world’s most water-scarce countries, while at the same time the limited water resources are being heavily overexploited.
The imbalance between water needs and water availability is exacerbated by ineffcient and uncontrolled resource use as well as decreasing water quality. Moreover, in the future Jordan will be severely affected by the impacts of climate change: climate models predict a reduction of overall precipitation in Jordan of up to 60 percent by the end of this century.
Currently, only around 62 percent of households in Jordan are connected to the sewage system. Hence, there is a significant, untapped potential for decentralised approaches for wastewater management. Particularly in northern Jordan – the region in which most of the refugees from Syria are living – the wastewater infrastructure is not designed for the large number of refugees received. In addition, topography and fragmentation of settlements hinder the expansion of sewage systems in several areas.
Industrial facilities such as olive mills discharge their wastewater in (often leaky) cesspits or it is disposed of at high costs. It is assumed that the groundwater resources are contaminated with pollutants hazardous to human health.