Innovative Adaptation Pilots:


From Irrigated Agriculture to Solar Energy Farming

Jordan is heavily dependent on its groundwater resources which comprise 57% of the country’s total water supply. All twelve groundwater basins are heavily over-used as abstractions clearly exceed the amount of precipitation that is the only source of aquifer replenishment.

Agriculture is the largest water-consuming sector. The high pressure on groundwater is visible in the Azraq basin where the total abstraction is twice the natural recharge rate. Due to the absence of sufficient precipitation agriculture completely depends on irrigation. 

In a multi-stakeholder dialogue at the Highland Water Forum, artificial groundwater recharge and solar farming have been identified as potential adaptation measures. These ideas were taken up for ACCWaMs pilot project. 



The pilot project aims to relieve the stress on the Azraq groundwater basin by 1) improving groundwater recharge and 2) reducing water abstractions for irrigation by establishing a water-friendly income alternative.



The objective is approached by the following two measures:

  • Artificial recharge using recharge release dams: Dams for improved groundwater recharge will be established at ideal locations as identified by a detailed study of BGR (Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources).
  • Energy farming: An initial report will determine the framework conditions, institutional and technical requirements to make solar farming a viable income alternative that reduces unsustainable groundwater abstraction.

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation of Jordan is the main partner for this innovative adaptation measure. ACCWaM supports the planning, implementation and monitoring of the project. The Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD) provides technical advice and strengthened as a regional advising institution in climate change adaptation.



The project is targeted towards:

  • Reducing the drawdown in the Azraq aquifer water table using infiltration of flashfloods to the groundwater aquifer.
  • Establishing energy farming as a feasible option to substitute investing in irrigated agriculture.


Further information:

Case Study ACCWaM Jordan

Timeline for Jordan Innovation Project

Demilecamps and Sartawi (2010): Farming in the Desert - Analysis of the agricultural situation in Azraq Basin


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