Mitigating the Risk of Extreme Water Scarcity and Dependency: The Case of Jordan

Joep F. Schyns*, Arwa Hamaideh, Arjen Y. Hoekstra, Mesfin M. Mekonnen, Marlou Schyns, Michael B. Abbott (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)
273 Downloads (Pure)


Jordan faces great internal water scarcity and pollution, conflict over trans-boundary waters, and strong dependency on external water resources through trade. This paper analyzes these issues and subsequently reviews options to reduce the risk of extreme water scarcity and dependency. Based on estimates of water footprint, water availability, and virtual water trade, we find that groundwater consumption is nearly double the groundwater availability, water pollution aggravates blue water scarcity, and Jordan’s external virtual water import dependency is 86%. The review of response options yields 10 ingredients for a strategy for Jordan to mitigate the risks of extreme water scarcity and dependency. With respect to these ingredients, Jordan’s current water policy requires a strong redirection towards water demand management. Actual implementation of the plans in the national water strategy (against existing oppositions) would be a first step. However, more attention should be paid to reducing water demand by changing the consumption pattern of Jordanian consumers. Moreover, unsustainable exploitation of the fossil Disi aquifer should soon be halted and planned desalination projects require careful consideration regarding the sustainability of their energy supply.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5705-5730
Number of pages26
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2015


  • water scarcity
  • water pollution
  • water footprint
  • virtual water trade
  • water dependency
  • water risk
  • water security
  • sustainability
  • water policy


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