Water scarcity is one of fundamental issues in Jordan but also an important topic in many other Mediterranean countries. One of the possibilities for improving the management of water resources is by integrating energy and water management schemes. Water supply by desalination is reality for many countries in the region. Desalination at large scale requires a lot of energy. Nowadays, reverse osmosis is a very interesting option for isolated regions and areas with high cost of water. The electricity needed for reverse osmosis, as well as for pumping, could be provided by renewable energy sources (RES), such as wind or solar, of which there is abundant energy potential, currently most unused.
Water supply system also requires reservoirs that are on different levels. This height difference could serve as a way of storing energy. One of such schemes (such as in the Red Sea–Dead Sea Canal project) would include upper (and lower) level reservoirs that will serve as a storage for renewable energy during the periods when the electricity production exceeds current needs. E.g., some studies suggest that Jordan alone has a wind potential for generating 145 GWh annually (particularly high is a wind potential in Aqaba and the Jordan Valley), which is enough to meet Jordans demand and provide power to a large portion of the Middle East region. There is also a vast potential for solar powered energy in all Middle East countries. The technology of choice would include photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies.
The excess electricity from RES (e.g. during nighttime when there is not much demand but there is much wind running the wind turbines) could be used for powering the reverse osmosis desalination systems and for pumping water to upper level reservoirs. When there is not enough electricity produced (wind does not blow, sun is covered by clouds) or if demand is increased, water can be used to run the hydro turbines after which is released to lower level reservoirs.
Enhancing penetration of renewable energy into water management systems not only would ensure sustainability of development, but would also create favourable economic atmosphere especially for those countries that are not blessed with abundance of fossil fuels.
This and many other options and ideas are presented in the JoRIEW Knowledge Center.