Harnessing Market Systems for Water Conservation in Jordan

  • Date Posted: October 17, 2022
  • Authors: Luis E. Osorio-Cortes
  • Organizations/Projects: Mercy Corps
  • Document Types: Case Study or Vignette
  • Donor Type: U.S. Agency for International Development

Jordan is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world. With its population rapidly growing, the demand for water has increased and is straining the country’s already limited resources. The five-year (2017-2022) USAID Water Innovation Technologies (WIT) Program used a market-based approach in Jordan to improve water use efficiency and water conservation in the agricultural sector, in communities, and in households.  

This USAID-funded program is one of the first large-scale applications of the  Market Systems Development (MSD) approach to water conservation and the first one of its kind in Jordan. WIT's household and agricultural components combined led to total savings of 28 MCM of water, exceeding the original target of 18.5 MCM by 51%, and are equivalent to 11,000 Olympic pools. On the agriculture component alone, the efforts of WIT’s partners and farmers led to the optimization of over two thousand hectares of farmland and savings of 24 MCM of water for irrigation, representing almost 10% of all the underground water consumed by the agriculture sector in 2017.

The WIT program worked on two market systems: agricultural irrigation and domestic consumption. This report focuses exclusively on the former, mainly because agriculture is the biggest user of water globally. In addition to the impacts mentioned above, the report also discusses WIT’s evolution and the main areas of intervention from an MSD perspective. The report identifies four main areas that significantly contributed to structural improvements in the Water Savings Technology (WST) market and water saving:

  • Access to information on benefits and availability of WSTs
  • Building capacity for engagement between market actors
  • Access to finance to enable investments in WSTs
  • Creation of spaces for interaction and learning

For more, read the Full Report and Executive Summary.