(MENAFN- Jordan News Agency) Dead Sea, Sep. 15 (Petra) -- Achieving water and energy security is fundamental to achieving sustainable development in Jordan, one of the most water-scarce countries in the world with an 88-percent dependency on imported energy of its overall needs, said Hala Zawati, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.
Patronizing the Water and Energy Conference Wednesday, on behalf of the Prime Minister Bishr Khasawneh, Zawati stated that the water sector consumes about 14 percent of total energy in the Kingdom. Accordingly, it was necessary for the state, through various projects and initiatives, to institutionalize the interrelationship between the energy, water and food sectors.
The minister said that joint working teams, that brought together stakeholders from the energy and water sector, were formed to promote and ensure the reduction of energy costs, improve the efficiency of the water sector, and maintain the stability of the electrical network.
During the conference, Zawati reviewed the most important national projects that enhance the interrelationship between the energy, water and food sectors, such as the National Carrier Project and the hydroelectricity project, which aim at increasing the use of renewable energy in electricity generation. Jordan, she noted, is looking to increase the contribution of renewable energy in the overall electric power generation mix from 21 percent in 2021 to 31 percent in 2030.
The minister described the energy, water and food sectors as "an interconnected link that embodies the integration between them, seeks to improve the efficiency of energy and water use, meets the needs of the agricultural sector efficiently and leads to achieving the endeavors of countries in the areas of water, food and energy security."
The minister pointed to the royal directives to have the government's economic policy focusing on achieving food and water security, and meeting the Kingdom's needs for energy sources, through long-term planning and the establishment of large projects capable of meeting Jordan's growing needs.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals involves achieving integration, adopting an approach based on the interrelationship between the water, energy and food sectors, in addition to the international community's recognition of the importance of such a move.
Zawati pointed to a project to manage the water loads to alleviate the burden on the electrical system, and reduce the costs of pumping water and small-sized projects, which aim to boost awareness on the integration between the energy, food and water sectors among all the concerned parties. This project, she added, involves supporting farmers in installing renewable energy systems to pump water to their farms.
The conference, which gathers stakeholders and experts, was organized by the University of Jordan, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Water Authority and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, with the support of the Renewable Energy Project in the Water Sector, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The two-day conference includes workshops for local, regional and European experts as well as local representatives from academia, industry, civil society, public authorities and research centers to explore and discuss opportunities and strengths of hydroelectricity .
The conference aims to review the latest technologies and previous studies in the field of water and energy, in addition to presenting dialogue sessions addressing ways to bridge the gap between the water and energy sectors, energy storage and load management opportunities, water desalination opportunities using renewable energy technology and the National Carrier Project.
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