Issues of water supply and contemporary urban society: the case of Greater Amman, Jordan
Potter, R. B., Darmame, K. and Nortcliff, S. (2010) Issues of water supply and contemporary urban society: the case of Greater Amman, Jordan. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Part A, 368 (1931). pp. 5299-5313. ISSN 1364-503X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2010.0182
Over the last two decades, Jordan has suffered a chronic water crisis, and is the tenth most water-scarce nation on Earth. Such water stress has been well illustrated in the case of Greater Amman, the capital, which has grown dramatically from a population of around 2000 in the 1920s, to 2.17 million today. One of the distinctive characteristics of the water supply regime of Greater Amman is that since 1987 it has been based on a system of rationing, with households receiving water once a week for various durations. Amman is highly polarized socio-economically, and by means of household surveys, both quantitative and qualitative, conducted in high- and low-income divisions of the city, a detailed empirical evaluation of the storage and use of water, the strategies used by households to manage water and overall satisfaction with water supply issues is provided in this paper, looking specifically at issues of social equity. The analysis demonstrates the social and economic costs of water rationing and consequent management to be high, as well as emphasizing that issues of water quality are of central importance to all consumers regardless of their socio-economic status within the city.