Aither has collaborated with the Australian Water Partnership (AWP) and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to develop and implement an innovative water policy dialogue in Jordan. The Jordan-Australia WaterGuide Dialogue brought together an Australian and international team, including Aither Directors Will Fargher and Chris Arnott, and a Jordanian contingent led by Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation Dr Hazim El-Naser and including senior officials from that and other key ministries, to discuss potential responses to Jordan’s water scarcity crisis. Over five days in Amman, Dialogue participants used the WaterGuide framework developed by Aither to diagnose water policy and management issues, and identify and prioritise practical solutions.

Jordan is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world, and its limited water supplies are under significant pressure from the effects of population growth, climate change, and the current refugee crisis. The Government of Jordan increasingly relies on non-renewable groundwater resources to meet growing demand, with desalination and transboundary water transfer megaprojects slated for construction in coming years. Jordan’s National Water Strategy 2016-2025 aims to boost water availability per capita from 61 to 105 litres/day over ten years and cut non-revenue water from 52 per cent to 30 per cent of total supply, but the challenges that stand in the way are considerable.

As a certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp) and an AWP Partner, Aither is committed to leveraging Australian expertise in water policy and management to improve outcomes in water-scarce nations around the world, principally by working with governments and businesses to change the way scarce water resources are valued for diverse uses. The Jordan-Australia WaterGuide Dialogue is just one example of how Aither is supporting the Australian Government to deliver such value-based and efficiency-enhancing solutions as a member of the High Level Panel on Water, convened by the United Nations and World Bank.