Miyahuna, Jordan’s largest water utility, and three German water supply and sanitation companies have entered into a long-term partnership to promote the transfer of know-how. Their objective: to reduce the serious water losses in the Miyahuna pipe system, make the sewage treatment plants more energy efficient and improve water quality management.
HAMBURG WASSER is a group of public water and wastewater utilities providing water and sanitation services to more than two million consumers in the metropolitan region of Hamburg, Germany. There are two separate legal entities in the company – Hamburg Water Works (Hamburger Wasserwerke GmbH) and Hamburg Public Sewage Company (Hamburger Stadtentwässerung AöR) – they were combined in 2006 under one roof with a common aim, structure and procedures, as well as identical management for the first three hierarchical levels. The Federal State of Hamburg owns both companies.
Miyahuna and its German partners wish to sustainably improve the operation and maintenance of the water works operated by Miyahuna. In addition, they plan to increase the energy efficiency of the sewage treatment plants while putting greater emphasis on renewables. The partners will also be looking at water quality management and providing support, primarily in the area of auditing, monitoring and benchmarking.
Sewage treatment plants use a lot of energy, and this is very expensive. Miyahuna therefore wants to benefit from the experience gained by the German water utilities in reducing energy consumption and using renewables more intensively. In the first instance, this involves the transfer of know-how, as the transition to renewable energy would require large-scale investments and corresponding financing, for example via development banks. However, small-scale measures, such as changing aeration procedures in sewage treatment plants, can also produce results, and the project should focus its activities here.
The water Miyahuna supplies to its customers meets stringent quality standards. Nevertheless, there is still scope for optimising the operation of the water works. The project partners are looking at drinking-water filtration and want to jointly discuss how Miyahuna – with little extra work or expense – can provide clean drinking water, for example by modifying flushing cycles or flocculant dosage levels.
As part of its water quality management system, Miyahuna tests for various chemical and microbiological substances in drinking water and wastewater. These laboratory tests are conducted to ISO standards. To further improve Miyahuna’s water quality management system, various measures are planned: exchanges on quality and laboratory-related issues; support with audits, monitoring and benchmarking; and training courses.
Both Miyahuna and HAMBURG WASSER have their own drinking water and wastewater laboratories and carry out most of their analyses themselves. Miyahuna has the largest such laboratory in Jordan and lacks laboratories of equal size with which to exchange expertise. Therefore, laboratory twinning is being carried out as part of the operator partnership. There is an exchange on specific laboratory topics between the respective experts in regular online workshops.
As a start of the partnership, fact-finding missions on the defined topics were conducted and the first work plans were developed. Since then, peer colleagues in the technical teams have been meeting regularly online in the three working groups on water treatment, wastewater treatment and water quality. In parallel, on-site visits to Jordan take place for necessary training and further measures. For special issues, Jordanian experts also come to Germany for "job shadowing", during which they observe their peer colleagues for a few days or weeks.
“In our visit to Hamburg, I was most impressed that the sewage treatment plants generated more power than they consumed. In future, we at Miyahuna want to use all available and practicable options offered by renewables in order to improve our energy efficiency. This also includes biogas and solar energy.”
Haitham Kilani, Miyahuna, Amman, Jordan
“Hamburg Wasser has over 40 years of experience in international projects. For us it is important to help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the water sector – both in Germany and abroad. With this commitment, we are highlighting our attractiveness as an employer and offering our staff the opportunity to gain experience outside the normal work context.”
Dr.-Ing. Claudia Wendland, Hamburg Wasser, Infrastructure coordination and urban hydrology
Miyahuna, Amman, Jordan
Hamburg Wasser (Lead-Partner)
hanseWasser, Bremen (Co-Lead Partner)
Netze BW Wasser, Stuttgart
Key thematic areas
Energy efficiency in the water supply and sewage treatment plants
Water quality management
Strengthening management skills
Fact sheet about the water operators partnership (WOP) between Miyahuna in Amman, Jordan, and HAMBURG WASSER, hanseWasser and Netze BW Wasser in Germany.