(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Per capita share of water in Jordan is on the decline owing to the flow of refugees from Syria into the Kingdom, falling to a minimal 120 cubic metres (cm) annually, said Water and Irrigation Minister Hazem Nasser.
This is below the international water poverty line of about 1,000 set by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Minister told the Jordan Radio on Saturday.
He noted that Jordan is the second or third poorest country in the world regarding water resources, according to international figures. He stressed the serious effect by the refugees' influx in that respect.
According to the Minister, scarcity of water has been posing socio-economic and political pressures, pushing the authorities to allocate extra funding to find water sources through high-cost projects such as the Dissi water conveyance project, building dams and desalinating water to ensure "acceptable minimum levels" of supplies that meet WHO standards.
Other factors leading to water poverty in the Kingdom are the rising population, drought and scarce rain that feed springs, particularly in remote areas of the country.
The Kingdom's annual consumption of water for drinking, agriculture and industry purposes is 800-900 million cm in the average. The level has been stable over the past decade, he said.
As for the Wadi Araba water, Nasser said that the peace treaty with Israel defined the Kingdom's share of the Yarmouk river water, depending on the rain season. This year Jordan received 25 million cm extra from the Israeli side, from Tabaria Lake. The Minister said that the Jordanian people have become aware of the water poverty, which raised hopes the Kingdom will be on a good level of water supply over the coming years.