The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s partnership with the Government of Jordan transformed the nation’s water infrastructure, creating new opportunities for growth and stability in one of the most water poor countries in the world. The $275.1 million investment helped improve water delivery to the Zarqa Governoratea region of over 1 million people east of the capital city of Amman.Delivery was improved through increases in the supply of water available to households and businesses and through improvements in the efficiency of water delivery, the extension of a wastewater collection network, and the expansion of a wastewater treatment facility. As a result, 1,160 km of new water and wastewater pipelines were constructed, bringing water to more citizens and businesses in Zarqa and also reducing water loss from leaky pipes. The wastewater network expansion extended the wastewater system to nearly 55,000 additional people, collecting more wastewater for treatment. A highly acclaimed public-private partnership financing structure expanded a world-class wastewater treatment plant, increasing its capacity by one third and allowing it to treat 70 percent of the nation’s wastewater. The compact also provided instruction and job opportunities to women interested in becoming plumbers. Effective procurement strategies and careful management of expenses enabled savings that were reallocated to fund the installation of additional wastewater pipes, the construction of a new water utility building in Zarqa, and the purchase of sewer cleaning vehicles to clean and maintain the water networks in Zarqa and Amman. The compact’s investments were coordinated with USAID assistance and responded to Jordan’s appeal for more long-term support to the country’s water and wastewater infrastructure.
Already one of the world’s driest countries, Jordan has faced a water shortage exacerbated by the needs of those displaced by the war in neighboring Syria. At the end of the MCC compact, more than one million Syrians were taking refuge in Jordan, further straining the water infrastructure. Demand for water increased during the compact period by 40 percent and government officials and development experts agree that Jordan will continue to require further investments in the water sector to address the stresses caused by the Syrian refugee crisis. The MCC compact was particularly important given the additional pressure on Jordan’s water resources and infrastructure. Launched in 2010, months before the crisis in Syria began, the compact carefully targeted improvements to water and wastewater infrastructure in Zarqa, one of Jordan’s largest cities. Around half the water that entered Zarqa’s water system was being lost through leaks in the network, an unsustainably high loss given Jordan’s already scarce water resources. Valued at the marginal cost of water production, these losses at the time amounted to more than $10 million a year.
This report provides a summary of the tangible outputs of the compact program, documents changes in compact activities and the reasons behind them, details information on performance against targets in the monitoring plan, and summarizes the results of independent evaluations.