U.S. extends $250 million to fund water loss reduction project

Minister of Water and Irrigation, Mohammad Najjar, and USAID Acting Mission Director Margaret Spears, on Thursday signed the 4th phase of the Water Loss Reduction Project agreement. According to a Water Ministry statement, the amount of funding allocated for this phase amounts to $250 million, with an additional contribution from the ministry worth about $75 million to implement the project within 6 years. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Najjar said the project aims to reduce water loss, which has multiple causes, primarily dilapidated water infrastructure, meter misreadings, illegal uses and attacks on water resources, which supports the national strategy to reduce water loss in the Kingdom to less than 25% by 2040. Najjar added that Jordan’s recently approved strategy aims to raise performance and efficiency of using water resources and improving infrastructure of the water supply system, especially in areas covered by services provided by Water Company Jordan (Mihanna ) and in line with the strategic visions to reduce loss. In light of the increasing demand and scarcity of water resources, he said the project would enhance efficiency of Jordan’s water sector to improve operational capacity of water production, conveyance and distribution systems, raise level of service to citizens and increase average daily per capita share. The minister added that the enterprise would strengthen companies’ systems by keeping pace with new technological developments and providing training and technical assistance for water sector employees and stakeholders working in this field. Najjar expressed the ministry’s gratitude for the “great and continuous” U.S. support for its impact on enhancing efforts to confront the Kingdom’s water challenges, raising performance and efficiency of using water resources, improving water infrastructure and increasing capacity of water supply system. For her part, Spears said this phase of the USAID project is in line with the Kingdom’s national water strategy for the coming years, and is added to its three previous stages. This assistance brings the total value of funding in the four phases to $689.1 million, Spears added. The new agreement, she noted, comes in line with the memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed between the Jordanian and U.S. governments, and aims to address Jordan’s water sector’s challenges. The project will focus on achieving the desired goals by rehabilitating and improving water infrastructure, developing monitoring and control systems for companies, integrating modern technological developments and launching capacity building through training and technical assistance for the sector’s workers, Spears said. This entire effort seeks to ensure the continued availability of water for the Jordanian people and enhance water security for future generations, she noted.

Source: Jordan News Agency