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‘Rooftop rainwater cisterns can meet 30% of household needs’

Minister says collected water can also reduce water bill by 40%

By Hana Namrouqa - Oct 19,2016 - Last updated at Oct 19,2016

AMMAN — Households can collect at least 50 cubic metres of rainwater from cisterns installed onto rooftops during winter, Water Minister Hazem Nasser said on Tuesday. 

“The collected water at cisterns can serve as a strategic reserve for the household, especially during summer when water demand surges or whenever water supply is disrupted for any reason,” Nasser said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

The collected rainwater could meet 30 per cent of household needs for families that use 150 cubic metres of water each year, the minister noted. 

The figures apply to areas with an average annual rainfall of 350 millimetres (mm). 

Approximately 91 per cent of Jordan is arid with an average annual rainfall of 50-200mm, while 2.9 per cent of the country’s land is categorised as semi-arid. 

Just 1.1 per cent of Jordanian land receives an average of 400-600mm of rain a year, according to official figures.

Several parts of the Kingdom, including the heavily populated Zarqa Governorate, 22km northeast of Amman, receive around 350mm of rainfall annually, according to the ministry’s spokesperson, Omar Salameh, who noted that the capital receives even higher amounts of rain.

Zarqa’s population stands at around 1.364 million, while 4 million people live in Amman, according to the 2015 population census.

“Collecting rainwater from rooftops is very feasible and easy. The quality of rainwater is high and the collected water is pure and can be used for all domestic purposes,” Salameh told The Jordan Times.

The ministry advised people to clean their roofs ahead of winter to make sure that the water collected is free of residue or pollutants.

If 20 per cent of buildings in the Kingdom collected rainwater during the wet season, some 43 million cubic metres could be accumulated, the minister said. 

“That amount constitutes 16 per cent of the water supplied to people for domestic purposes…,” he underscored.

In addition to building up a water reserve for the summer, collected rainwater can also reduce a household’s water bill by 40 per cent, Nasser noted.

With winter approaching, Nasser urged people to start planning to harvest rainwater.

The first rainfall usually arrives in mid-September or early October, and the wet season continues until February, according to the Jordan Meteorological Department.

In remarks to The Jordan Times last week, Omar Dajani, the chief weather forecaster for, said late rainfall in the Kingdom this season is attributed to a “wide-range” hot spell that had affected the eastern Mediterranean region.


Amman usually witnesses two days of rain in October, he said, adding that the actual rain season starts in mid-November.

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