Article 2: The WEF-CAP project advocates the creation of a Water-Energy-Food-Environment Nexus Council in Jordan

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In the first white paper produced by the WEF-CAP (Technology Transfer and Capitalization of Water Energy Food Nexus) project, FEMISE aims to accelerate an Integrated Water-Energy-Food Nexus approach in the Mediterranean, by studying the case of Jordan. The document advocates the creation of a Water-Energy-Food-Environment Nexus Council (WEFEN). A governance body aiming to reconcile public policies with a hybridization of national strategies for water, agriculture and energy management.

Faced with immense challenges, first and foremost the decrease in water resources caused by frequent episodes of drought and rising temperatures, Jordan developed a new legal framework in 2016. For seven years, the country has been committed to a national water strategy. A ten-year plan to rethink the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. At the same time, the kingdom has adopted a national plan for the development of agriculture (2016-2025), ), a plan to strengthen food security (2021-2030) and an energy strategy aimed at reducing the use of hydrocarbons in favor of renewable energies.

“These multi-sector plans and future investments require close cooperation in the sectors of water, energy and food, involving local actors, private companies and investors. At the same time, it is necessary to strengthen the legal framework by integrating the issues related to climate change while strengthening cooperation between the different ministries and national agencies”,recommend the authors of the white paper entitled, “Towards the adoption of a Integrated Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approach in Jordan: Challenges and Opportunities [1]”. Maryse Louis, and Sophie Dahdouh, experts in Mediterranean socio-economics at Femise and Shada El-Sherif, green economy expert in Jordan and the MENA region, invite Jordan to define a governance dedicated to this integrated approach. The country is ranked 157th out of 177 listed in the WEF Nexus index.

A framework conducive to dialogue and the sharing of best practices

The Water-Energy-Food-Environment Nexus Council would then be a framework for dialogue favorable to the exchange of good practices relating to the modernization of infrastructures, the increase in agricultural productivity and an increased awareness of water stress in order to achieve a paradigm shift in resource management.

This initiative aligns with the country’s Modernization Vision (2022-2033) which encompasses many challenges: development of an energy transition roadmap, improvement of energy infrastructure (smart grids, pipelines…), strengthening the management of water supply and demand, new projects for desalination units, modernization of the agricultural sector thanks to new technologies.

Jordan, faced with the influx of 1.3 million Syrian refugees in 2015 and Iranian emigrants, has seen a sharp increase in its population and galloping urbanization.This situation aggravates its vulnerability to the succession of external shocks. Climate change, Covid and the Russian-Ukrainian war are impacting water resources, energy prices and the availability of raw materials such as cereals. As a result, Jordan imports 97% of its cereal consumption. More inhabitants and less resources, the equation ends up weighing heavily. Over the past ten years, annual per capita water consumption has fallen by 30% in 19 years, and by 2025 it could fall further from 109 to 91 m3 per year per capita. Now, Jordan is considered one of the poorest countries in the world in terms of water.



[1] Louis, Maryse, Shada El-Sherif and Dahdouh, Sophie. 2023, Towards the Adoption of an Integrated Water-Energy-Food Nexus approach in Jordan: Challenges & Opportunities. WEF-CAP White Paper N°1.