Israelis, Jordanians, Palestinians Advancing Trilateral Water Swapping


water-desalianation-plantA major trilateral water understanding between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians is moving forward, Israeli sources said last week. A key component of the agreement is the development of an 80 million cubic meter desalination plant in Aqaba in Jordan, from which Israel would be able to buy 50-60% of the water. In return, Jordan would be able to buy an additional 50 million cu.m. of water from the Sea of Galilee annually, roughly double the current allocation, and Israel would allow the direct sale of an additional 20-30 million cu.m. of water from the Mekorot national water company to the Palestinian Authority.

The understanding also calls for a 200-km. pipeline to carry residual salt brine from the desalination process to the Dead Sea, in order to boost its depleted water levels. Israel has already increased sales of water from the Sea of Galilee to Jordan by an additional 12 million cu.m. since December.

Dr. Hakam Alami, water and sanitation adviser to Jordanian Prince Hassan bin Talal, said that while peace and water cooperation should ideally move forward simultaneously, he stressed how urgent the need to solve water scarcity issues in the region remains.

{ Israel News Bureau}