Summary of Consultation Workshop, including Agenda and List of

Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector:
Water Policy Dialogue in Jordan
First Consultation Workshop on the Governance of PPPs in the Water Sector of Jordan
23 October 2013, 12h30 – 18h00
Kempinski Hotel, Amman, Jordan
Workshop Summary
The workshop, organised by GWP-Med and OECD in Amman on 23 October 2013, gathered the key
government authorities and operators in the water and wastewater sector in Jordan. It was an
opportunity for the project team to present the details of the national component of the Governance
and Financing of the Water Sector project, which has been labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean
and officially launched in Barcelona in May 2013. The discussions were based on a diagnostic scoping
note, prepared by the OECD Secretariat and shared with the participants ahead of the workshop, which
outlined the key challenges and bottlenecks to private sector participation in Jordan’s water sector.
Participants had the opportunity to express their views on the challenges to private sector participation
(PSP) in the water sector, as outlined in the scoping note, and to provide feedback and advice on the
implementation of the country work in Jordan as part of the project. The Secretary-General of the
Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Eng. Basem Telfah, opened the event, which was then chaired by the
focal point in Jordan, Eng. Ali Subah, Assistant Secretary General, Ministry of Water and Irrigation.
The following entities were represented at the workshop:
Ministry of Water and Irrigation
Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ)
Programme Management Unit (PMU)
Ministry of Planning and International Co-operation
Ministry of Environment
Jordan Investment Board
Jordan Valley Authority
Ministry of Agriculture
The Agenda and full list of participants are included in Annexes 1 and 2 respectively.
Summary of Discussion
Following a brief presentation of the project, the workshop was organised along 3 main sessions:
1. The regulatory framework for water and wastewater services (WWS)
2. Budgetary affordability and financial sustainability of the water sector
3. Stakeholder engagement
The authorities expressed support for basing the country component of the project on these 3 pillars
and offered comments and suggestions for improving the scoping note that provides the backbone for
the analytical work to come.
Jordan has already had significant experience with PSP in the water sector. Modalities have included
micro PSP (outsourcing of specific business tasks); management contracts; and BOT, involving both local
and foreign companies and small-scale and large-scale projects. While the authorities deemed PSP to
have been relatively successful, the point on better understanding the various modalities available in
the hands of the government and depending on the circumstances and objectives for future PSP
engagements, was also highlighted. Moreover, it was acknowledged that tools and processes that could
support the decision on PSP modalities need strengthening.
Participants agreed that PSP would continue to be an important part in the development of Jordan’s
water sector, particularly: a) to meet the upfront costs of investment in the water sector, as
government cannot contribute significantly to public investments and b) to transfer technical
knowledge. However, the absence of a PPP law or a specific legal framework for PSP was considered by
some participants as one of the major bottlenecks to additional PSP in the sector. Also, high political
turnover has made it challenging to sustain political will to push reforms of the legal and policy
framework for PSP.
The restructuring of PMU to become the dedicated regulatory authority for water services has been
underway. However, the legislative basis that would define the scope of activity, precise roles and
powers of the regulator is not yet in place. The debates highlighted that generally speaking, the
regulatory framework for water services shows strengths but also some weaknesses. For instance, tariff
setting remains a highly political decision. In a social context characterised by user affordability
constraints, the critical need to establish a sustainable financial basis for water services has been
difficult to satisfy. Participants also mentioned the importance of clarifying the allocation of regulatory
functions and setting up the appropriate related enforcement mechanisms. There is room to harmonise
reporting procedures and data collection for operators to facilitate benchmarking on performance and
quality of service provision. The question was also raised on the restructuring of the water sector that
may be needed in line with an improved regulatory set-up – in particular the continued need for
consolidating water service provision around well capacitated operators.
While capacity within the administration is strong, especially at technical level, there was
acknowledgement that legal and financial expertise for executing deals needs to be strengthened. For
instance, the As Samra project required external professionals to evaluate the contract because the
relevant skills were lacking within the government. The creation of a PPP Unit within the Ministry of
Finance offers an opportunity to develop PSP capacities although the point was made that PPPs call for
a multiplicity of tasks that cannot necessarily be undertaken by a PPP Unit alone. There needs to be
reflection on how the capacities for undertaking PPPs will be handled institutionally.
The water sector in Jordan has been under significant strain as a result of the Syrian refugee crisis,
particularly in the Northern governorates. The cost of the refugees to the nation’s economy is estimated
to be US$ 400 million a year, equivalent to the water sector’s annual budget. Participants mentioned
that while PSP is not expected to solve the refugee crisis, any analysis of the water sector needs to
consider the impact of the refugee crisis on water availability, financial resources and sector planning.
This is compounded by rising electricity costs, which represent a significant share of water costs. As a
consequence, the financial sustainability of the water sector is under threat and WAJ faces heavy debts
and the operators, particularly Miyahuna and Yarmouk, are barely able to cover their operational costs.
Moreover, a significant budget deficit has obliged the government to accept a 36-month Stand-by
Agreement from the IMF accompanied by tax and expenditure reforms. There is therefore little
domestic fiscal space in the short to medium term to meet capital and operating needs in the water
sector. The rationale for resorting to private sources of finance appears to be strong but should not hide
the fact that PPPs raise significant challenges in terms of managing contingent liabilities.
There have been significant efforts to raise awareness among citizens on Jordan’s water scarcity and
other issues, for instance through the school curriculum which was developed by the Ministry of
Education. There is evidence that awareness about water scarcity is high among water users. The key
challenge, however, is encouraging behavioural change. It is also important to incite local users to
consider the national impact of inconvenient projects located in their communities so that particular
projects are not derailed by local opposition. Some platforms for engaging users, namely the Highlands
Water Forum and the water user associations, have been quite effective in engaging end-users,
although they rather focus on water resources management and include essentially farmers. There is
scope for expanding these platforms to include all categories of water consumers, particularly domestic
Next Steps
Based on the discussions in the workshop, comments received on the scoping note and the
collection of additional documentation, a report including a diagnostic analysis and
recommendations will be prepared by January 2014.
A stakeholders’ consultation workshop is planned in the first quarter of 2014, convening a larger
range of stakeholders, where the report will be discussed.
Wednesday, 23 October 2013, 12h30 – 18h00
12h30 – 13h30
Light lunch
Welcome Remarks
 Ministry of Water and Irrigation
13h30 – 14h00
Introduction to the project
 Overview of the activities and outputs for the project on Governance and
Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector
 Overview of the timeline, methodology and outputs for the Jordan
national dialogue
14h00 – 15h00
The regulatory and institutional arrangements to manage private sector
participation in water in the public interest
This session aims to discuss the current regulatory framework for private
sector participation in the WWS and the potential gaps, overlaps and
opportunities for improving it. It will in particular focus on the
establishment of a dedicated regulatory body for water, including the
governance arrangements and operational modalities likely to ensure that
it is effective, efficient, transparent and impartial.
15h00 – 16h00
Financial sustainability and budget affordability of private sector
participation in water
This session aims to discuss the current institutional setting and tools in
place in Jordan to ensure that private sector participation in water is
efficient, financially sustainable and affordable over time for the budget. It
will in particular consider: the governance arrangements and tools to
enhance value for money from PPPs; the levers to strengthen financial
sustainability of WWS in the long run; and the budget tools to promote an
appropriate management of contingent liabilities associated with PPPs and
other fiscal risks.
16h00 – 16h30
Coffee break
Stakeholders’ engagement for successful private sector participation
This session aims to discuss the role that end-users and other stakeholders
currently play in WWS in Jordan, as well as the mechanisms that can be
used by the government and the operators to facilitate their participation.
It will consider the ways users’ concerns are identified and addressed; as
well as the activities and tools that can be used to raise awareness among
users on water and wastewater services, including tariff regulation, PPP
projects, policy making and so on.
17h30 – 18h00
Conclusions and Recap of Next Steps
Bashar Al-Zubi
Jordan Investment Board
[email protected]
Khalil Al Absi
Jordan Valley Authority
[email protected]
Yousef Hasan
Jordan Valley Authority
[email protected]
Subhi Abu Roos
Jordan Water Company LLC - Miyahuna
[email protected]
Basel Al Qudah
Head of Department
Ministry of Environment
[email protected]
Reem Hasweh
Natural Heritage Sector
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
[email protected]
Rowieda Habahbeh
Assistant Manager of Master Plan
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
[email protected]
Ahmad Al-Jazzar
Head of Water and Agriculture
Ministry of Planning and International
Cooperation/ Projects Department
[email protected]
Basem Telfah
Secretary General
Ministry of Water and Irrigation
[email protected]
Ali Subah
Assistant Secretary General,
Technical Affairs
Ministry of Water and Irrigation
[email protected]
Ibrahim Al Shakhanbeh
Project Management Engineer
Ministry of Water and Irrigation
[email protected]
Jihad Al-Mahamid
Director of Modelling and GIS
Ministry of Water and Irrigation
[email protected]
Mohammad Al-Dwairi
Project Management Engineer
Ministry of Water and Irrigation
[email protected]
Mohammad R. Almomani
Ministry of Water and Irrigation
[email protected]
Mohammed Bany Mustafa
Ministry of Water and Irrigation
[email protected]
Nisreen Haddadin
Ministry of Water and Irrigation
[email protected],
[email protected]
Director, National Water Master
Director of Water Demand
Management Unit
Ahmad Mahfouz
Economic Manager
Mohammad Al-Waqfi
Technical Monitoring and Auditing
Waleed Sukkar
Mary Bahdousheh
Anthi Brouma
Aziza Akhmouch
Céline Kauffmann
Dambudzo Muzenda
Ian Hawkesworth
Independent Consultan ton
Agriculture & Environment, Former
Advisor to the Minister of
Senior Programme Officer, Head of
Middle East and North Africa Region
Public Governance and Territorial
Development Directorate,
Administrator, Water Governance
Senior Economist, Deputy Head of
Regulatory Policy Division,
Directorate for Public Governance
and Territorial Development
Policy Analyst, Regulatory Policy
Division, Directorate for Public
Governance and Territorial
Head of Public-Private Partnerships
and Capital Budgeting
Ministry of Water and Irrigation/ Programme
Management Unit
Ministry of Water and Irrigation/ Programme
Management Unit
Ministry of Water and Irrigation/ Programme
Management Unit
[email protected]
[email protected],
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Global Water Partnership - Mediterranean
[email protected]
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD)
[email protected]
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD)
[email protected]
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD)
[email protected]
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD)
[email protected]