Water Scarcity

Meeting the Challenge of Water Scarcity

The global population is increasing. Climate change warnings are escalating. Efficient use of resources is becoming even more crucial.

One of those resources is water, where concerns are growing over access to clean, safe and sufficient sources. And while many parts of the world are left to grapple with a dwindling water supply, Jordan is in an especially precarious position.

Nearly completely landlocked by its neighboring countries, the Kingdom has been forced to become dependent on sources from its rivers and groundwater. A 2020 report from The Century Foundation, as part of its“ Nature and National Security in the Middle East” initiative, found, however, that “the Jordan River’s flow is less than 10% of its historical average.”

Equally as troubling is the fact that “more than 80% of [Jordan’s] water supply is derived from groundwater, which is rapidly depleting,” according to the Jordan Ministry of Water and Irrigation in a recent story by The Jordan Times. In its Water Yearbook 2016-2017, the Ministry also found that in the Jordan Valley, groundwater levels “show a continuous decline between 1995 and 2015, reaching a maximum decline of five meters/year.”

With the water scarcity situation becoming increasingly critical as each year goes by, Jordan is in urgent need of a viable, efficient and effective solution to this decades-old problem.

MIYA — a multinational, world-leading and efficiency-oriented European water operator based out of Madrid, Spain and owned by French independent private equity firm Antin Infrastructure Partners — offers this solution and more.

Backed by 15 years of experience, turn-key solutions active in five continents, nine million project beneficiaries and eight awards — such as the International Water Association’s Project Innovation Award granted to the company in both 2013 and 2014; and most recently the 2020 Water and Energy Exchange (WEX) Award for Innovation in the Field of Infrastructure — MIYA stands in a unique position to revolutionize Jordan’s water availability and delivery.

“At MIYA, we have had over a decade and a half of practice at what we do,” says Stuart Hamilton, director of international business development and head of the Non-Revenue Water Department at MIYA. 

“With our highly qualified and accoladed team, operational excellence, best-in-class methodology and cutting-edge technologies, we specialize in challenges — challenges that necessitate tailored solutions to help regions overcome the most pressing of concerns related to water access.”

Stuart Hamilton, director of international business development and head of the Non-Revenue Water Department at MIYA

According to a peer-reviewed paper published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), “Per capita water availability decreases by approximately 50%” in the Kingdom by 2100, and without expert-led solutions carried out by companies like MIYA, “90% of the low-income household population [will experience] critical insecurity by the end of the century, receiving less than 40 liters per capita per day.”

To combat these alarming predictions and help reduce their grim statistics, Jordan’s circumstances necessitates a variety of interventional measures.

Constituting one portion of a multi-pronged approach to address water scarcity, the USAID-funded Water Innovation Technologies (WIT) project initiated a public awareness campaign with Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna). Launched in early September of this year, the campaign targeted consumers and focused on disseminating information about adopting practices and technologies to help decrease daily water use. 

In coordination with this effort, however, attention must also be given to the supply-side, where problems like water leakage, unauthorized consumption and inefficient systems lead to massive physical and commercial losses.

The best way to do that is by adding a focus on non-revenue water (NRW), or water that is produced and then lost before it reaches the consumer.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) places NRW at 52% in the Kingdom, and USAID estimates the resulting financial loss to be over 700 million USD per year.

A key player in the global water industry, MIYA is distinguished by its specialization in NRW reduction, holding the largest accumulated expertise in these types of projects around the world.

This leading NRW management solutions provider possesses not only the technical skills to solve water challenges but also a proven track record of experience and success, with 119 NRW projects enacted to date since its inception in 2007.

One such active project is in Portugal, an area similar to Jordan’s — and specifically Amman’s — climate. Through INDAQUA, MIYA’s subsidiary that manages several water companies through long-term concessions, MIYA produced and developed a robust plan to reduce NRW within a five-year period. With this plan, the company was able to reduce NRW to below 20% and losses to around 10%, where multiple municipalities in this region regularly see NRW at or above 30%.

Additionally, MIYA’s 2008-2014 project in the Philippines successfully led to a reduction in NRW from 63% to 34%, through which the 29% savings allowed for an additional three million people to be connected to water. In its ongoing projects in both Jamaica and the Bahamas, MIYA has so far reduced NRW from 60% to 40% and 60% to 17% respectively.

“When it comes to non-revenue water loss mitigation, MIYA stands at the forefront as a provider of real solutions, demonstrated by our past successes and ongoing projects in parts of the world not unlike Jordan. We look forward to the prospect of working with the Jordanian people to effect measurable change in a community that needs it most.” says Hamilton.

The Kingdom’s access to water is steadily disappearing, and the growing issue of water scarcity will not resolve itself.

With its proven, effective approach to decreasing water loss and subsequently increasing water availability, MIYA is equipped and ready to meet the challenge head-on.

By Adam Robertson