Prior to the influxes of refugees that would begin with the Palestine War () of 1948, the population of the Jordan Valley met its needs through rain-fed agriculture, and so were largely dependent on seasonal fluctuations in rainfall and river flows.
Because of the limited size of this population and its distribution across Jordan, there was no need to extract or redirect large portions of water across Jordan’s landscape.
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.
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 connection between these two security discourses is the behavior and daily practices of water users in Jordan.
The first discourse focuses on the outcomes of the state’s previous attempts to implement a supply-side approach to water misuse and how that has led to developing a demand-side approach, and the second addresses the misuse itself—but in both cases, state insecurity around water is rooted in people’s management of water resources.
Therefore, water awareness campaigns have targeted people at all levels of Jordanian society in order to convince them to follow the Jordanian government’s advice on the use and conservation of water.
Through water awareness programs, the state aims to convince the public to accept the second discourse to lessen the security threat laid out in the first discourse.