The Water and Development Partnership Program – DUPC2 managed by IHE-Delft in The Netherlands, and sponsored by the Dutch Government carried out a mission to Jordan to follow up on the DUPC2 on-going activities, and to promote for new initiatives in Jordan and the region. The mission covered field visits to selected storage and distribution facilities for irrigation water in the high lands as well as in Jordan Valley to validate water scarcity and related challenges and to explore the various farming practices. In addition, the mission organized a stakeholder consultation workshop to validate the national and regional priorities in water and development, and to receive feedback on the performance of DUPC2 in Jordan and in the region. The workshop was held in Amman under the patronage of Her Excellency Ms. Tessa Terpstra, Regional Envoy for Water and Energy Security for the Middle East and North Africa Region - Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. The workshop was coordinated and moderated by Dr. Naser Almanaseer from Al-Balqa Applied University, DUPC2 Regional Committee Member for the Middle East. The workshop was attended by 38 expert and stakeholder in water and development from Jordan and international institutions. International institutions included the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the United Nations Development Program - UNDP, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH, and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Center – UFZ, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas – ICARDA. National institutions included the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation – MWI, Water Authority of Jordan – WAJ, and the National Agricultural Research Center – NARC. Further, from leading Jordanian universities in water and development, University of Jordan - UoJ, Jordan University of Science and Technology – JUST, German Jordanian University – GJU, and Al-Balqa Applied University – BAU.
Following the opening words, the Program Coordinator, Dr. Wim Douven, and Program Assistant Ms. Nadine Sander presented an overview of the program components namely Education and Training, Research and Innovation, Knowledge sharing and Networks, and Management and Learning. They also presented the focus themes of the program covering efficient water management, particularly in the agricultural sector, improved catchment area management and safe deltas, access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation, and water diplomacy. Also, cross-cutting themes including water scarcity and water related problems related to the refugee crisis in the Middle East, water governance, gender/inclusiveness, and climate change.
Then, project leaders of ongoing DUPC2 supported projects presented their activities and discussed the main outcomes and lessons learnt. The DUPC2 Program Coordinator, Dr. Wim Douven, Ms. Nadine Sander, Dr. Peter van der Steen, and Dr. Hameed Jamali presented future opportunities offered by the program including the lately launched call for research proposals, a Middle East student competition, and participation in online courses. Expert participants contributed to the discussion with their valuable feedback and advice.
The mission concluded with a number of recommendations focused on exploring opportunities for supporting more projects in the MENA region, and the launching an effective dialogue towards the development of the regional platform for wastewater management to support innovation and scientific research and to encourage technology transfer in wastewater management. Further, the experts recommended a regional meeting to be held early next year to follow up on the recommendations and enable a greater number of interested parties and researchers to participate and to contribute to the development of applied scientific research in the field of water. Finally, the participants thanked DUPC2 for their efforts, and thanked the Dutch Government for their support and contribution to the development projects in the water sector in Jordan and in the region.