Jordan: Desalination, Diplomacy & Water Reuse in the Middle East (SCARCE)


To address water scarcity caused by increasing population, refugee influx and climate change, Jordan is tapping into resources such as sea water and brackish ground water and maximizing wastewater reuse in agriculture. This project will establish training courses on these challenges at two universities and at the Water Authority, to be included in their permanent training programmes. Course content will be up-to-date with the latest science and tailor made to address practical problems. Seawater Desalination is part of the Red Sea Dead Sea project that includes the first seawater desalination plant in Jordan. Capacity development is therefore essential and two training courses on this topic will be delivered, supplemented by water quality monitoring studies. As a result the Jordanian partners will be able to reduce chemical and energy consumption of the plant. It will desalinate 100 million cubic meters yearly, to be shared with Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Therefore two courses will be delivered on Diplomacy: these will focus on potential conflicts, negotiation and conflict transformation skills. Desalination of Brackish Ground Water: Groundwater used for drinking and irrigation in Jordan often has high salinity, consequently desalination is required. The number of plants in Jordan is rapidly increasing, but the salinity of the groundwater is causing technical problems, resulting in short lifetime of facilities. A TOOLBOX of practical measures will be developed and disseminated to partners, in order to increase water availability from the installations, at lower cost. Waste water is reused in agriculture in Jordan, but most reused water does not comply with Jordanian standards and therefore threatens the environment (groundwater) and public health (contamination of water sources and food crops). The training courses and supplementary individual study projects will focus on improvement of existing wastewater treatment plants and irrigation schemes in terms of design, operation and management.

Duration: 2017-2019
Sponsor: DUPC2
Budget: 600,000 euros
Main local partners: Water Authority of Jordan, Marine Science Station (University of Jordan campus Aqaba), Al-Balqa’ Applied University
IHE Staff: Dr. Maria Kennedy (Project leader, leader Desalination), Dr. Sergio Salinas, Dr. Nirajan Dhakal, Zaki Shubber (water diplomacy), Dr. Branislav Petrusevski (leader brackish water desalination), Dr. Andreas Jonoski, Dr. Peter van der Steen (leader wastewater reuse), Dr. Jack van de Vossenberg, Annelieke Duker.


IHE Delft’s Desalination Group website ready

The website of the Desalination group of IHE Delft sees the light for the first time. The website was created by Dr. Sergio Salinas and will summarize the activities of the desal group in the areas of research, education, and capacity development.

The group of Desalination is a member of the chair group of Water Supply Engineering at the Environmental Engineering and Water Technology department at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. IHE Delft is the largest international postgraduate water education and research facility in the world.

Tailor made training

Besides our regular Delft-based, three-weeks course on desalination and membrane technology (April-May of every year) we offer tailor made training (TMT).
In a TMT, the courses can be prepared for the content and duration specified by the requesting part. In some cases, also the language can be tailored to the participants.

Applied research

Our facilities and expert knowledge allows us to do specific research in the field of seawater and brackish water desalination.
We do research in the areas of fouling (organic, biological, particulate, inorganic) and scaling.

Troubleshooting and optimization

Troubleshooting and optimization of water treatment plants and in particular of desalination plants.
We have unique tools for onsite monitoring of water quality and fouling assessment. The onsite testing is complemented with laboratory analytical tools and methods.