The MWI has worked both internally and within the public sphere to eliminate this notion, and to rearticulate its role in securing water for its citizens as a role of knowledge sharing and water conservation education.
Relatedly, the idea of luxury is most likely a function of the impacts of water rationing on the Jordanian public since this policy was initiated in the 1960s .
Sharif Elmusa notes that this low population density was the case, in part, because “British interest in creating the state of Jordan itself stemmed from geopolitical rather than developmental priorities connected to state building [as] Transjordan had hardly any agricultural or mineral resources worth coveting” .
This geopolitical interest in Jordan’s potential only grew as the American diplomatic and military presence gradually replaced the older British one, and the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 created successive waves of refugees, many of whom settled in Jordan.
This article examines water awareness campaign messaging of the Water Efficiency and Public Information for Action (WEPIA) campaign.
Using Jordanian government documents and structured interviews, it argues that the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) promotes water awareness campaigns to shape water users’ habits and perspectives on water.Water awareness programs aim to accomplish this by aligning popular concerns about water security with government concerns over state security; i.e., to create responsible water citizens.The MWI believes that national stability and security, as well as a sustainable future, depend on water usage being firmly under central government control, and views areas of local water hardship as potential sites of state insecurity.It was the first influx of Palestinian refugees resulting from the 1948 that sufficiently attracted the attention of the international community to begin large scale development of the Jordanian water sector.The 1948 influx of Palestinian refugees into Jordan forged together three key elements that shape Jordan’s development of water resources up to the present: the demographic pressures of refugee populations, resulting concerns over the sufficiency of Jordan’s water resources, and the role of international development aid in stabilizing Jordan against the potential of these two interrelated factors to threaten the state’s security.The first type of discourse guiding these campaigns, which we label the “state insecurity” discourse, asserts that implementing rationing policies on Jordan’s domestic water supply leads to protests and political instability, responses that create a security threat to the state itself.The second type of discourse, which we label the “citizen insecurity” discourse, suggests that people’s daily water practices, if wasteful or ineffective, can exacerbate water scarcity, and so create a security risk to their own water access.Interviews with MWI officials and civil society workers revealed that public misgivings about water conservation and supply reduction were two of the main reasons why the MWI decided to engage in outreach campaigns [1,2,3].In fact, the MWI realized that it is necessary to improve communication and outreach to the broader population in order to better explain why it is important to conserve water, showing also the work that the MWI is and has been doing to ensure water security in the country.The goal of this strategy is to align popular concerns about water security with government concerns over state security, i.e., to create responsible water citizens.This article suggests that the Jordanian MWI seeks to shape citizens’ water behavior through two key strategies.