'Amman will purchase 10 m. cubic meters of Israeli water'

Jordanian newspaper reports water shortages in Jordan Valley prompt expected purchase this summer.

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June 7, 2011 04:13
2 minute read.
Water

Water . (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Jordan is expected to buy 10 million cubic meters of additional water from Israel’s Lake Kinneret supply this summer due to water shortages in the Jordan Valley, Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab al-Yawm reported an unidentified Jordanian Water Ministry official as saying in a story on Monday.

Amman secretly purchased 2 million cubic meters late last summer, the paper also reported.

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The price Jordan will be paying Israel for its water will be 28 Jordanian qirsh (NIS 1.34) per cubic meter, plus an additional 2 qirsh (NIS 0.10) per cubic meter for pumping electricity costs, the newspaper stated.

This rainy season was the worst in the last decade for Jordan, which experienced a drop in stored water of 44 million cubic meters in comparison to last year.

Jordan remains the fourth poorest country in the world in terms of water availability, according to the author, who refused to speak to The Jerusalem Post.

Israel already provides Jordan with 25 million cubic meters of water from the Kinneret each summer, and Jordan is able to pump an additional 10 million as per the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement.



Water Minister Dr. Hazem al-Nasser told Al-Jazeera that Jordan’s purchase of additional water from Israel would not even be an issue “if Jordan actually received the quantities stipulated in the [Israel-Jordan peace] treaty, amounting to 45 million cubic meters of water at least.”

Israel has currently only been providing about 30 million cubic meters each year, chairman of the Committee on Water and Environment in the Jordanian Engineers Association, Mohamed Abu Taha, said in the Al-Jazeera report.

The Al-Arab al-Yawm story said that Israel’s reduced supply to Jordan was due to increasingly low water levels in the Kinneret.

“The water situation in Jordan is indeed severe, with intermittent water supply in all Jordanian cities,” said director of Friends of the Earth Middle East Gidon Bromberg.

“Friends of Earth Middle East supports Israeli assistance of fresh water supply to Jordan in the short term. In the mid to long term, however, Jordan, like Israel, needs to take more dramatic steps to better manage their respective water economies. Ironically, on the Palestinian front, Israel is not as generous and the Water Authority would do well to help relieve the dire water situation throughout the West Bank.”

The Israel Water Authority had no comment on the alleged deal.

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