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The cost of irrigation water in the Jordan Valley (Inglês)

Jordan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. Its annual renewable resources of 145 cubic meters per capita are far below the threshold of severe water scarcity of 500 cubic meters. The competition among water needs for irrigation, industrial and domestic uses, wetland protection, and in-stream habitat needs continues to pose serious challenges in Jordan. As a result of this competition, the available fresh water for farmers in Jordan, and more specifically farmers in the Jordan Valley, has declined. The five-year moving average dropped from 155 million cubic meters in 2003 to 131 million cubic meters in 2009. The drop in fresh water has been accompanied by an increase in treated wastewater, which although assisting in maintaining access to water for agriculture, has had an impact on the quality of the available water. Nevertheless, the total crop area has increased from 28,000 hectares in 1994 to 34,300 hectares in 2012. The purpose of this study is to determine the cost of irrigation water in the Jordan Valley, compare this cost with the revenues generated by the JVA, and to estimate the impact of increasing irrigation water prices, based on different levels of cost recovery, on farming. The study undertook a financial analysis of the JVA combining data from the JVA’s administration and the JVA’s budget books, while collecting more disaggregated data on the JVA’s revenues and expenditure from its financial and operational departments. It supplemented this analysis with farmer surveys in the Jordan Valley and an assessment of the agricultural sector using data from the Jordanian Department of Statistics and an expert team of the Food and Agriculture Organization.

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