Lifting the veil: Unpacking the discourse of water scarcity in Jordan

Hussam Hussein

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61 Citations (Scopus)
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This article investigates the construction of the discourse of water scarcity in Jordan. It identifies the actors constructing the discourse and the elements comprising the discourse. The study is important and makes an original contribution because while the issue of water scarcity in Jordan has been widely researched, it has been done mainly with engineering approaches, the discourse of water scarcity has been taken for granted, and studies on an in depth discursive analysis of the issue of water scarcity in Jordan are still missing. The study finds that there is a single dominant discourse of water scarcity, which is composed of two narratives: water insufficiency and water mismanagement. The water insufficiency narrative is constructed to emphasise factors external to the responsibility of the Jordanian government as reasons for water scarcity, like nature, refugees, and neighbouring countries. It is mainly constructed by governmental oriented actors and deployed to open solutions on the supply and conservation sides and ultimately to maintain the status quo of the current water uses. The water mismanagement narrative is constructed to emphasise as reasons for water scarcity factors of mismanagement of water resources, and deployed to increase economic efficiency in the water sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-392
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Early online date20 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • Discourse
  • Discourse theory
  • Hydropolitics
  • Jordan
  • Water scarcity
  • Water security

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