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A matter of serious concern

Mar 01,2014 - Last updated at Mar 01,2014

According to Jordanian climatologists, this year’s winter is the driest season ever.

At a recent seminar conducted by the Jordanian Society for Scientific Research, a professor at the University of Jordan said that the drought this year is unprecedented in all the contemporary history of the country.

It is also predicted that the coming summer season could be the hottest in recent years, worsening the already bad situation in the country.

It was also suggested at the seminar that the country’s weather, like that of countries across the globe, is affected by the climate change due to global warming, something most of the world is aware of.

Still, such news is a source of worry, particularly at a time the country is beset by economic, financial or demographic challenges.

Jordan hosts over 1.2 million Syrians, nearly half of them housed in camps in the north of the country. Their presence during the dry season is going to put an additional strain on the country’s water resources and its economic well-being.

There is very little Jordanians can do to face the projected hardships of a prolonged drought other than ration their use of this precious commodity.

The water shortage also means that Jordanians will have to tighten their belts even more, since more expensive water bills are bound to come their way, increasing even more the cost of living.

Still, a few things could be done to alleviate the problem.

Agricultural production should shift to less water-intensive produce and recycling wastewater must be seriously considered.

The fact that nearly half of the water supply to homes and industries is lost on its way to its destination due to an obsolete network, plagued, on top of it, by theft needs to be given careful attention and tackled effectively.

Concerned officials should detail their plans for dealing with the drought, starting right now, not be caught, as often is the case, by “surprise” and not know where to start.

Water dearth is more than a serious issue; it is a matter of life and death.

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