Relative Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Jordan
The relative impacts of anthropogenic forcings and climate change on water stress in Jordan during the period 2030–2050 are investigated. The more likely figure for the population of Jordan based on natural growth only would be between 13 and 15 million people by 2050. Given this conservative projection, annual water needs for domestic purposes alone would be between 700 and 800 million m3, with the current level of water consumption. This quantity is equivalent to the total renewable water resources of the entire country even without a climate change. A rise in temperature and a drop in total precipitation or both as suggested by Global Climate Models would add another dimension to the water crisis in Jordan. A climate change will lead to a reduction in renewable water resources by 20–40%. Thus, there is a composed freshwater shortage risk caused by population growth and climate change. The outcome would be a serious water deficit risk that produces a permanent water supply crisis in this politically volatile and environmentally fragile region. Alternative freshwater sources must be sought (e.g., Red Sea-Dead Sea conveyance project; sharing freshwater resources) to meet the growing freshwater demands due to population growth and the anticipated blue water decline caused by warmer and drier climatic conditions.
KeywordsClimate change Eastern Mediterranean Jordan water resources Water resource vulnerability in Jordan
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