Jordan is one of the world’s most water-scarce countries and water shortages are likely to get worse over the coming years as shown in current scenarios of Climate Change. Furthermore, energy consumption accounts for around 73% of Jordan’s national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the water sector consumes about 15% of total electricity in the country. The energy is mostly imported and generated by burning fossil fuels, which is not only an economic but also an environmental burden. Each kWh of electricity consumed in Jordan is equivalent to about 0.65kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted to the environment.
The Hidaan wells are the main source of drinking water in the governorate of Madaba, providing water to 200,000 people living in this area (Madaba governorate is located 35km south from Jordan’s capital Amman). In order to convey the water to the beneficiaries, Miyahuna Water Company needs to pump the water from an altitude of 330m a.s.l. to elevations of 750 - 800m a.s.l. This complies large pumping stations that require huge amounts of energy.
The intersectoral linkage between water, food and energy is of major importance to ensuring water and food security, sustainable agriculture as well as energy production worldwide: The water, energy and food nexus approach brings along inextricable connections between these critical domains. In a world with an increasing demand for freshwater, energy and food driven by population growth, economic development and climate change, both efficient water supply and water treatment is indispensable. These intersectoral challenges are being addressed in the frame of the global project “Water and Wastewater Companies for Climate Mitigation” (WaCCliM):
Together with the Miyahuna Water Company, WaCCliM assessed GHG emissions and energy efficiency in cooperation with the University of Jordan, using the innovative “Energy Performance and Carbon Emissions Assessment and Monitoring Tool” (ECAM). The assessment of Madaba’s urban water cycle indicated that 71% of the emissions resulting from the energy-intensive water supply.
The study devised options for the alleviation of emissions, such as the retrofitting of the pumps, which are currently installed at Madaba’s main water reservoir. The pumps suffer from low efficiency and high losses, resulting in high-energy consumption. Therefore, WaCCliM contributed to the replacement of old pumps, which will save energy and avoid emissions of more than 1000 tons of CO2eq per year. Regarding the Water-Energy-Food nexus, the efficiency measures by WaCCliM can help to save water and energy. Moreover, the WaCCliM approach comprises strategies to improve the water treatment processes in Jordan, concurrently supporting food security by efficiently reusing water.