Something you’ll notice when you come to Jordan is that no one is drinking water from the tap (this means a LOT of plastic bottles in a city with no municipal recycling). When I’ve asked around, everyone says it is definitely NOT safe to drink. However, everyone is fine with brushing their teeth with it and washing their fruits and veggies, etc. in it. So I decided to investigate a bit more about how safe the water is for drinking purposes, is it really all that bad that people believe it to be?
To begin with, Jordan’s water supply is extremely scarce. As one of the aridest countries in the world, the per capita water supply is 200m3 per year, whereas the global average is around 600m3 (Source).
Despite this severe water scarcity, more than 97% of Jordanian have access to an improved water source, making it one of the highest rates in the MENA region (Source).
But let’s get back to the original question – is it safe to drink the tap water in Jordan?
The short answer – According to the World Health Organization’s drinking water guidelines; Yes.
The more detailed answer is the following – Drinking water quality in Jordan is governed by Jordanian Standard 286 of 2008, which is based on the World Health Organization (WHO) drinking water guidelines. Jordan’s standards were modified in 2008 and previously in 2001 after a major drinking water pollution outbreak occurred in Amman in the summer of 1998 due to a malfunction of the capital’s major drinking water treatment plant.
A 2005 study showed that different potable water sources across four governorates showed that drinking water quality was in compliance with national physiochemical standards. And a study in 2011 by the Jordanian Government showed that more than 90% of samples taken at house water storage tanks in three Amman distribution zones (Rasheed, Kharabsheh, and Khalda) were in compliance with the recommendations of the WHO Drinking Water Guidelines.
Eco-Friendly Options For Drinking Water
To sum it all up, the tap water is apparently fine to drink if you wish, but here are some other ways that you can still minimize your impact on the environment if you don’t wish to drink directly from the tap:
- buy refillable jugs at the supermarket and attach a pump to it (ex. image above – Nestle 18.9 liter jug)
- install an RO (reverse osmosis) filter at home
- boil tap water before use
- use a pitcher water filter (ex. Brita filter)