Can you drink the water in Jordan?

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?

water tanks rooftops amman
rooftop water tanks are essential in Jordan

Water Scarcity

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).

drought-stricken-land jordan

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).

Water Quality

But let’s get back to the original question – is it safe to drink the tap water in Jordan?

drink 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:

save plastic bottles amman
Refillable Nestle 18.9L jug (left). Aquafina jug is NOT refillable (right)
  • Clara Water refillable 15L glass bottles
  • 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)

12 thoughts on “Can you drink the water in Jordan?

  1. A question: what about water directly from the tap? Stored water on the roof may be in compliance, but I’m wondering about old pipes/household piping infrastructure that may contaminate tap water.


    1. I’m not an expert on this. I use tap water when I cook or boil for tea. I would recommend a filter though just in case.


  2. As part of my professional work, I few weeks ago prepared a short report on water and wastewater situation in Jordan! It seems the water quality is not such all bad people think! But old piping system and improper storage might be factors deteriorating the water quality! As water expert, i drunk and coocked directly from the tap water! So using for a while and will leave Jordan soon safely.


      1. Hey Chelsea, you are welcome. unfortunately, it is internal docs for our organization and not published.


    1. Many different reasons, but apparently it is OK to drink. But some people don’t want to take a “risk” due to contamination issues of the past. Jordan is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world and I guess it doesn’t inspire trust in the water quality…


  3. Is there any contaminates directly in the Jordan River? Can one take some sand and water from it and bring it back to another country for a souvenir in a small contained container 1 to 3 ounces?


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