The Yarmouk river: main water source in Jordan

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Jordan is one of the poorest countries in the world in terms of water resources. The UN defines a country with an average annual per capita share of water supply of less than 500 cubic meters as suffering from “absolute scarcity” and right now Jordan has an average of 150 cubic meter per resident. The Yarmouk River usually accounts for 40% of the water supply in Jordan.

Against this backdrop, the Blue Peace Media Lab (BPML) series focused on the Yarmouk river discusses the treaties that Jordan signed in the past with Syria and Israel. It also examines whether such treaties should be revisited and whether Jordan should rely more on its domestic resources rather than on bilateral agreements with neighbouring countries.

One important pillar of the Blue Peace Media Lab (BPML) initiative is the production & dissemination of water related media pieces in the region as a means to (further) sensitise water-sector stakeholders as well as the public on the importance of regional dialogue for identifying solutions that will ultimately improve water management practices in the Middle East. There is an emphasis on producing and publishing multi-media formats across different platforms – including legacy media as well as a maintaining a strong focus on social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter).

The Yarmouk river series was produced and published in cooperation with Maysara Films (Jordan). The Blue Peace Media Lab will follow up from this series in the course of 2021, understanding the Yarmouk river and its role from different regional perspectives.

The Blue Peace Media Lab

The Blue Peace Media Lab initiative was founded by SDC as a three-year project aimed at understanding how topics of water availability, access, and quality across the MENA region find their way into the media sphere, as well as identifying ways in which the media can communicate these pressing topics in a way that it contributes to the sector’s overall integrity. In this regard, the initiative has sought to encourage a move beyond traditional media outlets such as TV, radio and newspapers towards fresher and more contemporary outlets including social media platforms, influencers or innovative audiovisual spaces.

The BPML trains media and communication experts from the Middle East by providing them with tools and guidance to develop innovative formats and approaches for addressing and communicating water topics. At the same time, the initiative emphasises the importance of regional dialogue and networking between the media and different water stakeholders.

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Author:
Filmmaker and writer Mariam Shahin has produced and directed more than 70 documentary films and is founding member of MaysaraFilms, based in Jordan. She is the author of Palestine: A Guide (Interlink Books, 2005) and co-author of Unheard Voices: Iraqi Women on War and Sanctions (Change, 1992). She is also a regular contributor to the cultural magazine - AramcoWorld.

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