Jordan's water consumption per capita will be halved by the end of the century due to dwindling water sources and an increasing population. Few households in the arid country would have access to even 40 liters (10.5 gallons) of piped water per person per day without interference.

A Possible Grim Future

Freshwater
(Photo : Photo by Miranda Salzgeber on Unsplash)

By 2100, low-income communities will be the worst affected, with 91 percent of households earning fewer than 40 liters a day for 11 months in a row.

Some of the sobering predictions in a peer-reviewed paper released March 29 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by an international team of 17 scholars.

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Not So Distant Prediction

Water Body
(Photo : Pixabay)

According to study co-author and Stanford hydrologist Steve Gorelick, who runs the Global Freshwater Initiative at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment, Jordan's worsening water problem provides a snapshot of issues that loom elsewhere as a result of climate change, population growth, intensifying water consumption, demographic shocks, and heightened competition for water across borders. According to the World Health Organisation, half of mankind would be living in water-stressed areas by 2025. The United Nations expects 700 million people to be homeless by 2030 due to water shortages.

As a result of upstream diversion in Israel and Syria, the Jordan-Yarmouk flows in Jordan's largest river channel have decreased. Groundwater levels have fallen by more than a meter per year in some regions, and a major aquifer along Jordan's border with Saudi Arabia is heavily pumped on both sides.

Increase in Demand

Several US Regions' Drinking Water Exposed to High Arsenic Content
(Photo : Pixabay)

Water demand has increased in part due to population growth punctuated by waves of migrants, including over 1 million Syrian refugees in the last decade.

Extreme water shortages and large inequalities of municipal water sources are conflict-inducing factors. According to lead study author Jim Yoon, a Pacific Northwest National Laboratory water protection and resilience, Jordan's water situation, which has long been considered a disaster, is now on the verge of "boiling over" into instability physicist.

"These results are all the more cause for concern because of Jordan's unique status as a bastion of stability in the region," said Yoon, who started work on the study as a Ph.D. student at Stanford University.

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Sustainable Development Goals

Scientists Restore Seagrasses and Rejuvenate Marine Life in Coastal Bays
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

One of the United Nations' 17 sustainable development goals is to ensure sustainable watershed management and equitable access to clean water and sanitation. According to Gorelick, who led the Jordan Water Project and its extension, the FUSE Project, logical structures have been absent until now (Food-water-energy for Urban Sustainable Environments).

The latest projections are based on a first-of-its-kind computer model of Jordan's freshwater environment, which simulates interactions between natural processes and human behavior. The researchers measured the consequences of maintaining the status quo versus enforcing steps such as replacing leaky pipes, preventing water diversion, raising tariffs for major water consumers, and reallocating a quarter of water from farms to cities in a combination of climate and socioeconomic scenarios.

According to the team's modeling, efforts to concurrently expand supply decrease demand. Then Jordan's water shortage has multiple layers, making it a very good area to study the effects of person versus parallel approaches Gorelick. Now that a blueprint for this dynamic ecosystem exists, it can be easily extended to other sites.

Crisis Rise

 Hurricane Iota Hits Nicaragua as Category 4 Storm
(Photo : Reuters Connect)

Increased supply by large-scale desalination is the single most important measure Jordan can take. Jordan has been pursuing this goal since the 1960s, with one plan being to desalinate water from the Red Sea in the south, move freshwater north to Amman, and dispose of the remaining heavily salty water in the increasingly dwindling Dead Sea.

The delivery is expected to result in "exponential" increases in national water stability.

Jordan's public water system is currently highly unequally dispersed, with affluent homes and companies often supplementing rationed municipal supplies with expensive imports from commercial tanker truck operators. "Avoiding significant gaps in public water supplies would be important to avoid water stress in Jordan and other parts of the world," said Christian Klassert, a German economist and study co-author.

Although chosen supply and demand approaches are often presented as competing solutions in water policy discussions, the authors argue that suites of interventions in both modes perform well in concert.

"You'd imagine that some of these measures would have a bigger effect than the others. However, it turns out that you must complete all tasks, "According to Gorelick.

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Attempts to be Better

Although chosen supply and demand approaches are often presented as competing solutions in water policy discussions, the authors argue that suites of interventions in both modes perform well in concert.

"You'd imagine that some of these measures would have a bigger effect than the others. However, it turns out that you must complete all tasks, "According to Gorelick.

The size and cost of near-total reform of the world's water system are incredibly overwhelming for a country with an economical production per individual less than one-tenth of the United States. "It's difficult to think beyond how to distribute dwindling freshwater tomorrow, next month, and, to some degree, in the next few years in water-scarce regions where sustainable preparation is most needed," Gorelick said. "Our long-term strategy analyses are most useful in these areas."

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