Azraq Wetland Reserve Project

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The Azraq Wetland Reserve project facilitated by UNDP Jordan and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) has raised awareness on scarcity issues within the local community. This project focused on improving socio-economic conditions of beneficiaries at Azraq Basin community and reducing poverty. The project also enhanced access to water, with the goal to improve related health aspects and reduced over pumping from Azraq Basin. In addition, the project raised awareness among local community and stakeholders on water issues, specifically focusing on ways to save water and integrate new farming technologies. In the long term, this project could protect the Azraq Wetland from further environmental impact of human activities.

Clean Water and Sanitation

The Azraq wetland reserve is located in the heart of the Eastern Jordan Desert, and due to its rich eco-system, has played an important role in the area. Unfortunately, the Azraq Basin is suffering from severe over-abstracting from agricultural activities. This water scarcity issue is further exacerbated by the need to supply the capital city of Amman with water. Natural springs feeding the basin have dried out, resulting in the disappearance of the historical oasis of all Azraq. In this regard, actions are in needed to reduce the human-related environmental impacts and protect the Azraq wetland.

The Azraq wetland reserve project is aimed at reducing domestic water use, raising awareness on water conservation techniques with a special focus on women and children and improving the vulnerability of the Azraq Oasis.  

In particular, the National Azraq Dialogue Initiative, under which all the activities were carried out, developed a master plan for managing the basin together with key stakeholders from the Ministries of water and irrigation, Health, Environment, Agriculture, and Tourism.  

The implementation process was based on a participatory approach, where meetings and workshops were conducted with the local communities and farmer associations. Household beneficiaries were chosen based on selection criteria with the focus on poor farming households who have struggled to afford the cost of water tankers, and therefore had an interest in using rainwater as an alternative water supply.

This project used water saving devices, which resulted in improved access to water, reduced water consumption and reduced pumping from Azraq Basin. In particular, 500 cubic meter of water has been saved annually. The use of grey water system resulted in reduced over pumping from Azraq Basin, specifically 1,200 cubic meters on average were reclaimed and re-used for agriculture irrigation instead of fresh water.  

In addition, a complementary environmental education, known as "The Nature Knight" program was developed to raise awareness and educate students and the local community about the importance of the Azraq Reserve and basin, water issues, and identify best practices to save water and cope with climate change in a sustainable manner.

Jordan

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit , UNDP , Coca Cola Foundation

UNDP , Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature

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