Geography and landscapes Jordan
Géd below sea level). It is therefore not uncommon for the earth to tremble, even if the earthquakes generally remain of low amplitude.
- To the west, the Jordan valley takes place in the Ghor, a tectonic rift extended by the Dead Sea and the valley of Wadi Araba. Well watered by the rains, it has almost tropical vegetation. It is the main agricultural region of the country.
- Further east, the Transjordan highlands dominate the tectonic divide by nearly 1 m and stop the rains coming from the Mediterranean. Consequence: the valleys are relatively cool and watered.
- On the other hand, even further to the east, the rains are rare. The plateaus slowly lower towards the last region of the country, the desert, which covers more than 80% of the territory. This desert is above all of a rocky type, even if you can see some sand dunes in some places (in Wadi Rum for example).
Environment: the water problem
A worsening deficit
Jordan is one of the 4 poorest countries in terms of available water resources. Sometimes the tops of the houses ring hollow and the refugee authorities (unofficially much more). The water deficit can therefore only worsen.
If only these meager water resources were the subject of consistent demand management! This is the crux of the problem: the majority of available water goes to agriculture, which represents only 3% of the GDP and occupies only 5% of the population. The rest (23%) is spent on domestic consumption, industry and tourism.
Another issue: the water distribution network, which is experiencing very significant losses, partly due to the dilapidated nature of the network, but also to poor management: water that is actually consumed but not billed, due to the malfunction of the meters or random readings.
Maintaining a highly water-consuming agriculture is a strategic choice in terms of food self-sufficiency. For this use, but also to cope with the ever increasing demand for drinking water in Amman and with the influx of Syrian refugees in such a politically unstable region, avoiding dependence on neighboring countries is a priority, and exploitation rivers has a clearly geopolitical dimension.
The 2 main rivers are the Yarmouk, in the north, which acts as a border with Syria before flowing into the Jordan which separates Jordan from Israel and the West Bank. In this, the latter represents a major stake.
The solutions initiated
Politicians seem to have become aware of the problem, facing the water lobby, which is still very strong.
The Ministry of Water and Irrigation has launched a vast investment program. Thus, in agriculture, some crops could be abandoned in favor of other less consuming, irrigation optimized, regulated and above all supplied from the reprocessing of wastewater.
The idea of a upward revision of invoicing for irrigation water is also making its way, even if it means disadvantaging the Bedouins and villagers who take advantage of this free service.
Thanks to the'international aid, several projects (construction of dams, pumping of groundwater and desalination in particular) have materialized or are on track.