Water use per sector
Water use varies per sector: the agricultural sector has always been the main water user (ranging from highs of over 70% about ten years ago to about 53% in 2013), followed by the domestic sector (rural and urban households) (about 42%) and the industrial sector (mainly potash and phosphate industries) (about 5%). (Table 1 and Fig. 11)
Agricultural water use and irrigational development
Rapid population growth in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s drove the Jordanian government to implement a strategy of food security, which in turn led to a sharp rise in water use in the government-supported agricultural sector. However, instead of decreasing use, the government’s water policy for many years focused on increasing supply (so-called supply management). Agriculture in Jordan requires intensive irrigation, as only an estimated 5% of the land receives enough rainfall to naturally support agriculture.
Extensive infrastructure was built to supply the country’s irrigation network, centred around the King Abdullah Canal in the Jordan Valley and a number of large dams. Irrigated agriculture was first developed in the Jordan Valley, where it used water from the Jordan River and the Yarmouk River, as well as the side wadis. The Jordan Valley Authority (JVA) was assigned responsibility for the operations and development of this huge irrigation area in 1977 (Fig. 13).
 Ministry of Water and Irrigation, 2015. Personal interview.
 Yorke, V., 2013. ‘Politics matter: Jordan’s path to water security lies through political reforms and regional cooperation’. NCCR Trade Regulation, Working paper 2013/19.