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Groundwater accounting and protection in Jordan

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Jordan is one of the most water‐scarce countries in the world. Delivering sufficient water and wastewater services to meet the needs of a growing population and national economic development targets is a significant challenge. Clearly, determining how to allocate water efficiently and equitably demands detailed information on the country’s water resources and water use. This challenge has been met with the establishment of a detailed metering system; and by a thorough accounting system, which relates physical water flows to the economy and enables an environmentally extended input-output analysis. Those two elements have been joined and made operable within a extensive Water Information System (WIS).

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Water footprint accounting of green and blue water. Guadalquivir river (Spain) case study.

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Traditional water studies and planning focus on blue water withdrawals, considered usually as the unique variable to report the demand of the sectors of the economy. Nevertheless, the interactions of water cycle with the environment and human activity is much more diversified, and a series of complementary indicators is necessary in order to have a more detailed view and comprehension of water use.Thus, the solution aims to promote green and blue water accounting thanks to the water footprint (WF) methodology. The WF is considered as the human appropriation of hydrological  flows (Hoekstra et al., 2011). By computing only the consumptive use, the WF offers a complementary view to the classical one that considers only withdrawals, allowing a more accurate view of water consumption, its impacts and the effect of possible demand reduction measures (e.g. improved efficiency of application of irrigation water). In some situations, the WF could be a better indicator, as it stands for the actual depletion of the resources.

 

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DRBC’s Water System Audits and Water Loss Control Program

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Many water system audits have been conducted in the absence of consistent definitions and standards and have often used inappropriate metrics for measuring the water supply efficiency. The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is one of a handful of regulatory agencies in the USA that has changed its regulations to reflect the improved approach to water loss accounting made possible by the IWA/AWWA methodology. The 2009 amendment to the DRBC Water Code requiring the new audit format was developed by DRBC staff and the DRBC’s Water Management Advisory Committee (WMAC). Compliance with the program was voluntary in 2011 and required in 2012. DRBC, in partnership with a number of large municipal and private water purveyors, has held workshops and training sessions for water system operators.

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Application of Water Accounting in the region

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Water accounting refers to a systematic study of the current status and future trends in both water supply and demand (quality and quantity), with a particular focus on issues relating to sustainability and uncertainty.  Water accounting, under various different names (e.g. water resource assessments and water resource audits), is being promoted increasingly as a key component of programmes of integrated water resource management.   Water accounting can be a one-off activity which has been designed to achieve a specific purpose or it can be part of a long-term M&E programme aimed at, for example, improving and sustaining water service delivery.

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