PV systems for the water sector: Increasing energy efficiency while combating water scarcity in Jordan

Water and energy security are strongly interlinked in the Arab region, and Jordan is no exception. The country is known to be one of the world's water-scarcest countries, with complicated hydrogeology and topography features. Hence, the Jordanian water sector depends heavily on pumping and treatment processes, which makes it the largest single consumer of electricity in Jordan. Since Jordan’s energy mix is primarily based on fossil fuels, the water sector is responsible for around 11% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

This trend has been raising due the increasing demand for water end energy resources, as a response to population growth and urbanization. A direct effect of it has been the increase in electricity tariffs and exploitation of natural resources, in order to respond to this intensive power consumption and meet the rising demand. This imposes serious economic and environmental challenges to the country, which, despite its large potential for renewable energies in the water sector, does not fully harness it.

Ground Yasmeen, Abu Alanda, and Ghuwair PS reservoirs.

It is critical that we embrace a new nexus between food, water and energy rather than treating them in different "silos". All three need to be fully integrated, not treated separately if we are to deal with the global food security crisis. It is time to embrace a second green revolution - an "ever-green revolution" - that doubles yields but builds on sustainability principles

— UN Secretary-General

Breaking sectoral silos and promoting Water, Energy and Food Security

As demand continues to grow along with the human population, a more balanced, efficient, and sustainable use of natural resources is urgently needed. The adoption of an integrated perspective to the management of water, energy and food (WEF) has the potential to increase efficiency and develop more sustainable pathways to ensure the availability of these resources. Acknowledging this, the Nexus approach considers the interlinkages that exist among WEF sectors and proposes solutions that reduce sectoral trade-offs, increase resource efficiency, and integrate planning, management, and governance across sectors.

The Nexus approach represents a major shift from a pure sectoral ethos to solutions that embrace a cross-sectoral, coherent, and integrated perspective. Its adoption to the Jordanian scenario has the potential to address various WEF challenges faced by the country. Particularly, it can contribute to combat the rising energy costs and meet the increasing demand for natural resources, thereby ensuring WEF security in the long run.


Projects that include actions to increase the resilience of communities from a bottom-up approach on integrated water resources management have a huge potential to mobilize resources, innovation and ownership that promote sustainable local development. Therefore, it is our responsibility to learn from them and get them incorporated into national planning under a multisectoral approach.

— Cristina Mecerreyes, IDB senior water and sanitation specialist, 2021
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The WEF Nexus in Jordan: Addressing water scarcity through sustainable energy

The Energy Efficient Water Sector (EEWS) project is supporting the Water Authority of Jordan, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, and the Water Utilities to improve energy management and reduce Jordan’s high energy costs. The project is implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and is co-financed by the European Union. Its primary objective is to enhance energy efficiency and increase the share of renewable energies in the water sector in the country.

For this purpose, the consultant “Eco Engineering and Energy Solutions (ECOSOL)” is supporting the EEWS project by investigating the most suitable economic business models for setting a Photo-Voltaic (PV) roadmap for the water sector. ECOSOL elaborates on the detailed PV system designs and prepares tender documents for the implementation of the roadmap as per agreed business models. The goal is reviewing the sites suggested to install a 24 MWp of PV systems, validate the suitability of each site, suggest compensating areas, and provide a final list of locations.

A comprehensive theoretical design for successful PV projects implementation

To achieve the scope of the consultation service by determining a final list of PV-sites for three different water companies, the methodology consists of five work packages (WPs):

WP1: review and on-site inspection of the 29 suggested locations, to collect data and account for any discrepancies between the preliminary study and the site. A document including the list of reviewed sites is outlined.

WP2: reference of the document list in the processes of detailed design for each approved site, in parallel with communication with electricity companies.

WP3: initiation of the data collection for grid connection application.

WP4: scoping of the business models according to the market.

WP5: production of three key deliverables:

  1. Presentation of the identified business models to key stakeholders.
  2. Risk, business models, and financial evaluation reporting.
  3. List of companies that are interested to implement the PV project.

All documents for each approved site will be integrated to the tender documents, which are intended for use to implement the PV-roadmap.


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The Water-Energy-Food Nexus

Together with national and regional partners, the Nexus Regional Dialogue in the MENA region, co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Ministry for Development and Cooperation (BMZ), promotes the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus approach in the region to address these interdependencies and ensure the sustainable management of water, energy and food resources.

The WEF Nexus approach focuses on negotiating trade-offs, inspiring compromises and uncovering synergies to ensure water, energy and food security in the long run. It further promotes policy coherence and cooperation between all three sectors at the regional, local and global level. Since 2016, the Nexus Regional Dialogue Programme in the Middle East and North Africa Region has been working across the region to institutionalise the Water Energy Foof Nexus in public policy and planning in addition to demonstration projects that show the value-added of the WEF Nexus, capacity building activities and the identification of financing opportunities.

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Knowledge building and dissemination

A preliminary study on the PV roadmap potential was prepared and provided by the EEWS project and finalized by Dorsch International in 2021. It stressed upon the importance of further verification of the data collected and to double check the site conditions before starting with the implementation of the PV roadmap.

Building on these learnings, ECOSOL’s consultation service complements the work done in the preliminary study. Through sites classification and identification of the most promising business models for PV panels implementation, the activities so far developed have been resulting in valuable lessons for future WEF Nexus interventions, in Jordan and beyond. The project has been demonstrating that funding opportunities are available, but these require detailed techno-economic feasibility study level. Likewise, targeting water facilities with high land availability and electricity consumption reduce several implementation problems, but the process of obtaining permits for renewable energy projects requires intensive follow-up.


The challenges to achieve agricultural transitions cannot be overcome without being water and energy smart. The WEF Nexus approach is our opportunity [to be smart].

— Ambassador Shahira Wahbi, Chief of Natural Resources Sustainability Partnerships and Disaster Risk Reduction from the League of Arab States.


The GIZ water Portfolio in Jordan


بتحميل الفيديو، سيتم إرسال بيانات إلى موقع يوتيوب. ويمكن الاطلاع على مزيد من المعلومات في سياستنا المعنية بحماية البيانات.

Far reaching sectoral improvements and sustained long run benefits

Comprehensive and solid analysis is fundamental for the development and implementation of PV projects, and thus enjoy of Jordan’s large potential for renewable energy production. Integrated Nexus solutions bring concrete benefits through improving municipal and agricultural unmet water demands, decreasing energy requirements and increasing agricultural production, which can improve up to 15% in 2050 (FAO, 2022).

Enhancing energy management and efficiency not only contributes to moving faster towards renewable energy policy targets, but also reduces operating expenses, which in turns benefits more than 11 million Jordanians through decreasing energy tariffs, improving sustainability, securing water supply and expanding agricultural production. Such potential for securing the functioning of vital sectors for the country’s socioeconomic development while preserving natural resources has been globally recognised. Hence, the PV Roadmap has been included to World Bank's funding assigned for energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, constituting a step forward towards its escalation and dissemination.


More Information

  • Nexus News: Green Pumps for Jordan’s Water to combat Climate Change

    Learn about further Water Technology projects in Jordan here.

  • The Nexus Regional Dialogues in the Middle East and North Africa

    Find more information about the NRD activities and outcomes in the MENA region here.

  • The Nexus Training Material

    The WEF Nexus training material contributes to an increased application of the WEF Nexus approach in planning, policymaking, and implementation. Find more information here.

  • Water-Energy-Food Nexus Assessment of Solar Energy Farming Interactions

    A report focused on experiences with solar energy farming in Jordan. Have access to the full text here.

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