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Sustainability 2013, 5(2), 724-748; doi:10.3390/su5020724

Impact of Climate and Land Use Changes on Water and Food Security in Jordan: Implications for Transcending “The Tragedy of the Commons”

Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
Faculty of Natural Resources & Environment, The Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan
National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE), Baqa'a, Jordan
Faculty of Graduate Studies, Dean, Arab American University, Jenin, Palestine
Faculty of Agriculture, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbed, Jordan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2012 / Revised: 29 January 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 15 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tragedy or Transcendence: Reflections on 'The Tragedy of the Commons')
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This study investigates the impact of climate change and land use change on water resources and food security in Jordan. The country is dominated by arid climate with limited arable land and water resources, where the per capita share of water is less than 145 m3/year. The study focused on crop production and water resources under trends of anticipated climate change and population growth in the country. Remote sensing data were used to determine land use/cover changes and rates of urbanization, which took place at the cost of the cultivable land. Recession of irrigated areas led to lesser food production and food security. Outputs from crop production and water requirements models, in addition to regression analysis, were used to estimate the projected increase in agricultural water demand under the scenarios of increased air temperature and reduced rainfall by the years 2030 and 2050. Results indicated that problems of water scarcity and food insecurity would be exacerbated by climate change and increased population growth. To move from the tragedy of the commons towards transcendence, the study emphasized the need for adaptive measures to reduce the impacts of climate change on water resources and food security. The challenge, however, would remain the development and the efficient use of new water resources as a means for future sustainable development.
Keywords: climate change; land use/cover change; food security; water scarcity climate change; land use/cover change; food security; water scarcity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Al-Bakri, J.T.; Salahat, M.; Suleiman, A.; Suifan, M.; Hamdan, M.R.; Khresat, S.; Kandakji, T. Impact of Climate and Land Use Changes on Water and Food Security in Jordan: Implications for Transcending “The Tragedy of the Commons”. Sustainability 2013, 5, 724-748.

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