Integrated Wastewater Management in Jordan
One of the goals for sustainable development of the United Nations is to "Ensure access to water and sanitation for all" (Goal 6). In view of climate change, a dynamic population development and increasing refugee influx, efficient water management has become an existential challenge, especially for arid and semi-arid regions.
Photo: UFZ / André Künzelmann
Jordan is one of the world's most water scarce countries, where groundwater resources are indispensable for water supply. The implementation of integrated wastewater management (IWRM) concepts will help to mitigate extreme water scarcity and protect groundwater resources in Jordan. Jordan is striving to set a regional example of a successful implementation of IWRM concepts and it is expected that it will be the reference case for IWRM knowledge, methods, and application in the Middle East.
The Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation has established an inter-ministerial and cross-sectoral committee (National Implementation Committee for Effective Integrated Wastewater Management in Jordan - NICE). The committee unites decision-makers from eight Jordanian ministries and authorities as well as other important national stakeholders.
National Implementation Committee for Effective Integrated Wastewater Management in Jordan (NICE)
The existing strong connection between the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and the so-called SMART joint research project, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has led to an opportunity to jointly prepare and support the implementation process of sustainable wastewater management systems with a focus on suburban and rural areas of Jordan
The Ministry of Water and Irrigation has established an inter-ministerial National Implementation Committee for Effective Integrated Wastewater Management (NICE) in Jordan in 2013 in order to develop regulatory and administrative tools (framework) for implementing decentralized wastewater management (DWWM) systems in Jordan. Key elements such as technology and reuse standards, site development procedures, operation & maintenance schemes, etc. for an institutional framework for DWWM as well as selected first upscale implementation areas in Jordan were produced that will enable Jordan to take part in instruments of international development cooperation.
In 2016, the Jordanian Cabinet adopted the "National Framework for Decentralized Wastewater Management in Jordan" (
) and the "Decentralized Waste Water Management Policy" (
), which is the first policy for decentralized wastewater management in the Arab world. Both, the framework and the policy were developed by the NICE Committee with support from the NICE-Office.
The main objectives of the current project phase are:
1) the development of a framework of the certification of wastewater treatment plants and the certification of O&M staff for wastewater systems in Jordan;
2) the application of integrated wastewater management concepts (IWRM); and
3) the implementation of the reuse target for Jordan (SDG 6) and on the use of IWRM concepts in rural and suburban settlements with refugee influx (host communities).
NICE Steering Committee
Access to a pool of high-ranking international experts for carrying out NICE activities and capacity development measures is of major importance. Furthermore, close cooperation with partners in Jordan and Germany facilitate focused discussion among Jordanian decision-makers and can provide crucial support at establishing cooperation with donor organizations and development banks.