Jordan has signed an agreement with Norway to produce an ambitious hybrid project to promote agriculture and produce renewable energy, reports SciDev.Net.. The seawater will be pumped inland where it will be purified for use in greenhouse agriculture. A nearby concentrated solar power plant will provide the power for the desalination process. Some of the water produced will, in turn, be used to cool down solar power plant. This cycle will then continue supplying energy and pure water.
Construction of the project should start in 2012, but will not be complete till 2015.
Jordan is one of the driest countries in the Middle East, and probably in the world too. Annual water per person there amounts to less than 200 cubic metres. Compared to the world average of 7,000 cubic metres, water security in Jordan is obviously one of the biggest challenges. While I was in Amman, I realized that water is only delivered three days a week and residents have to store it in large tanks for later use. If you run out of your supplied water, you have to buy expensive extra water to use.
The new project will be started on a 20-hectare area provided by the government of Jordan. Norway will then fund three feasibility studies to determine how successful the project is. If it is successful, Jordan will expand it into 200 extra hectares of desert land.
You can read more about the project here.