The International Water Demand Management Conference comes as more countries struggle with ways to develop and improve supplies of the precious liquid often called white gold.

For years analysts predicted that a water war would break out in the already troubled Middle East, where most countries have been plagued by drought and scarce water resources.

Jordan ranks among the world's 10 poorest in water.

Worsening situation

All across the world, scientists and officials are coming to the realisation that dwindling water supplies are among the top woes they face.

"Water scarcity and water shortages are not just a Middle East phenomenon," Jordan's Water and Agricultural Minister Hazim al-Nasir said.

"The future of water resources around the world is under pressure from population growth, industrial needs, environmental degradation and rapid urbanisation."

"The future of water resources around the world is under pressure from population growth, industrial needs, environmental degradation and rapid urbanisation"

Hazim al-Nasir,
Jordanian Water and Agricultural Minister

"As supply options become more limited, all consumers as well as managers of water systems need to become more aware that the future lies in greater efficiency of use," the minister added.

The conference will gather on the Jordanian shores of the Dead Sea. The lowest body of water on Earth, the Dead Sea's very existence is threatened as Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians divert the Jordan river, which feeds it, for agriculture.

Experts from around 30 countries will attend the conference organised in cooperation with the US Agency for International Development.

There will be 21 workshops with themes ranging from ways to deal with droughts, to planning a balanced approach to water resources, detecting leaks, home plumbing, recycling water and demand reduction.

Speakers from the US, Japan, Canada, Europe and Arab countries will share their experiences in research as well as state-of-the-art technologies on water conservation.