The Last Drop Project
- North Africa and the Middle East, Jordan
Access to safe water is important to human health, irrigation, sanitation, and many other aspects of human society. Yet in many of the world’s countries, communities struggle to sustain a reliable water supply. "The Last Drop" explores Jordan's water situation through interviews with national and local officials, water researchers and average Jordanian people.
What do you know about the water situation in Jordan?
[Woman] The water situation in Jordan differs from one area to another. Some places have a severe shortage, while others are good.
[Man] Jordan has a severe shortage. Water reaches the houses once every two or three weeks.
[Woman] The water situation is in severe shortage. I live in Irbid, and I suffer a lot from the water problem.
Fact: Jordan is in the fourth year of a drought affecting the entire Middle East.
[Man in shop with bananas overhead] The problem is that we receive water once a week for only six hours, from midnight to six in the morning. Sometimes it doesn't even reach the houses on top of high hills.
[Man in front of building] In Ashraffiah where we live it could be two or three weeks, sometimes even a month and a half and we don't see water. They say they're changing the pipes. God only knows the truth.
[Man by car] We were in a pipeline where everyone got water but me. Then they cut the pipe and said they'd come back to fix it, but nobody ever did.
Syria:1048 cubic meters/person/year. Jordan:199 cubic meters/ person/year.
[Man in shop] The water situation in Jordan is almost 70%.
[Woman in office] There is an overall shortage of resources here. There are not enough underground water sources, plus we have no natural outlets at the sea, making our environment even more difficult.
[Woman] Jordanian per capita water usage is one of the world's lowest.
[Woman] From newspapers and TV we know we have a deficit. And if as individual Jordanians we do not use each and every drop of water, there will come a day when we long for even one more drop of water.
Severe water shortage
[Images of article clippings in Jordanian text]
Discussing severe water shortage in Jordan
[Signage] Headquarters, Al Koura district, Water Authority of Jordan
[Man] I'm Engineer Qassem'Ababnah, the district director of water services for Al Koura. It's well known that Jordan is one of the poorest water countries in the world. People's awareness is very important in order not to have a lot more wasted water. Conservation guarantees that we keep our resources safe and sustainable into the far future, in order not to reach a time when things are worse than now. The WAJ (Water Authority of Jordan) distributes water weekly to make sure people receive water fairly and in sufficient quantity.
Fact: The Middle East has only 1% of the world's available fresh water.
[Music and images of disposed plastic bottles in a stream of water, children playing in water. Pan on a leafless tree held up by rusty metal beams. Old image of tree with leaves noted "Genoise Tree alive."]
Fact: In the past two years, Jordan has dropped from the tenth poorest to the fourth poorest water country on earth. But the solution is in your hands.
[Music and images of countryside and group of women and men meeting outdoors.]
[Woman] I'm an engineer in environment and waste water treatment for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). I'm the supervisor for this project. It's been running for six years now. The aim of this project is to show the importance of waste water treatment and using reclaimed water for agriculture. The other aim is to involve the local community in using this reclaimed water and especially to involve women in this field. Thanks to God, it's a success. We use these special purple pipes so that any Jordanian will know that they are carrying waste water that is reclaimed.
[Man] My name is Engineer Ismael Tuwissi, the manager of the Wadi Mousa Demonstration Site. This site is now 1070 dunums big. As we all know, this area is inhabited by a lot of Bedouins, and their financial situation is not good. We started this demonstration site by farming some feed crops. We used to have a problem in that these people were not convinced that they can make use of reclaimed water from waste water. In the beginning we invited them almost every week to see what we were working on. We started with alfalfa, and most of them have livestock, whether sheep, horses, or camels, so they needed fodder for their animals. We convinced a group of fourteen back in the first stage and started them farming. After they were a success, there was a huge demand from a lot of people.
[Woman] Rainwater harvesting is an individual family solution. Rainwater harvesting is all about collecting rainwater in winter on the rooftop, of course after we make sure the rooftop is clean. And through these pipes the water comes down into the storage tank. And we make use of the water in summer for cleaning and irrigation.
This is the question, and the answer is within you.
[Music and closing credits]
The Filmmaking Team
Fatmeh Suliman Abd Alnabe
Fatmeh Ragheb Bany Yones
Amal Amjaad Dohdeh
Sojud Ibrahim Bany Easen
Heba Mohammed Khrasat
Baka Mohammad Bani Abed
Amnah Ebrahim Ahmed
Samah Suliman Ali Alrubab
Nancy Nasser Al-Zoubi
Faten Naser Al-Eiadeh
Haneen Mhamad AlRadan
Tuqa Siad Tmosut
Hiba Nadeem Abbas Harb
Anwar Ali Mohammad Banyounis
Neda'a Abdullah Deeb Shararoh
Fatima Bany Yones
Sojud Ibrahim Bany Easen
Amnah Ebrahim Ahmed
Nancy Nasser Al-Zoubi
Amal Amjad Dohdeh
Filmmaking trainer and supervisor
Nadia Mousa Eliewat
Researcher and subtitles
Susan Miller-Coulter, RN, BSN
US Peace Corps Volunteer
This project would not have been possible without the generous assistance of many organizations and many individuals who work within them.
Royal Film Commission
Girls High School, Deir Abi Seid
All the faculty and the staff
Higher Council for Youth
Dr. Adel Najji
Dema Mahmoud Shraideh
Many thanks to everyone at USAID Water Resources and Environment Office
Ross E. Hagan
Dr. Amal Hijazi
Engineer Ismael Tuweisi
Yara Abu Laban
Water Authority of Jordan
For great advice on the conceptual framework
Lexine T. Hansen
U.S. Peace Corps/Jordan
"Evergreen," composed by Keith Murphy, Black Isle Music, BMI, copyright 2001. Performance, Becky Tracy, CD of the same name, 2001. Used by permission.
United States Agency for International Development
The Royal Film Commission Jordan