Jordan: still the good host

As I mentioned a few months ago, Jordan is a relatively responsible water manager in the Middle East, but political instability in its neighbors has been constantly disrupting its well-laid plans for years.  The most recent disruption is a flood of refugees from the Syrian conflict (civil war?  I’m no diplomat.).  Trying to be an ethical host, Jordan has been delivering water supplies to the refugees via water tankers all summer, but at the cost of its own people, many of whom do not have reliable water supplies in the interim.  In light of no tap water supplies, Jordanians have been lamenting that they don’t live in the well-stocked Syrian refugee camps, some protesting about the lack of water for the past two months by burning tires, blocking roads, and seizing a Water Authority tanker.

The real problem is that without government tap water, the local Jordanians are forced to purchase water from either the Water Authority, if they’re lucky, at roughly $0.011/gallon, or private suppliers at roughly $0.032/gallon, which is prohibitive to many.  They wait for sufficient water pressure to wash clothes and take showers, although blips in the electricity supply can prevent municipal pumping, causing locals to miss their window of opportunity.  The good hosts continue to go without, in order to grant their guests a minimum of water supply.

Jordan could be nearing the point of frustration with guests that leads to drastic measures: violence against the unwanted guests, perhaps.  But more likely is a push for nuclear power to drive desalination plants and produce power.  Just what the Middle East needs…

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