AMMAN, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Jordan has stepped up efforts in combatting water thefts and improving supply infrastructure, as water reserves at its dams are nosediving, and public grudge against repeated outages are fuming.
"The ministry is exerting its utmost efforts to provide water to residents across the country, working on addressing all concerns, including dismantling illegally-laid water pipes, and improving the water supply system," an official at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation told Xinhua on Sunday.
The official, who preferred to be anonymous, revealed that repeated water thefts and attacks on water pipelines are the major factors behind disrupted water supplies in some regions.
The official confirmed to Xinhua of recent media reports that dams across Jordan, which have a total capacity of 280 million cubic meters, are only 15 percent full at the moment, which is "alarming."
President of the Jordan Environment Union Omar Shoshan said climate change also impacted the precipitation in the rainy season in Jordan, contributing to the scarcity.
"Jordan has been witnessing erratic rainfall over the past years, and the precipitation rate is becoming lower and lower every year," Shoshan told Xinhua, admitting "we certainly need to work on improving the utilization of water resources and reducing the waste."
Meanwhile, UNICEF said in its new report on water-stressed Jordan that numerous factors have exacerbated the pressure on the kingdom's limited water resources, including demographics, urbanization, and climate change.
The study noted that Jordan's agricultural sector, although contributed about 5 percent to the country's gross domestic product, consumed more than half of its freshwater resources.
According to the water ministry's official, a major water desalination project is hopeful of alleviating Jordan's draught by producing about 300 million cubic meters of potable water from the Red Sea per year.
The project is expected to come into operation in 2027, the official noted.
"We can not just rely on the mega water project to address water shortages. We also need to reduce the waste of water in irrigation and daily usage as well as prevent water-related offenses," Khaleel Diab, a resident of the Jabal Al-Taj area in the kingdom's capital Amman, told Xinhua. ■