Israeli Water Supply to Jordan Doubles

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel is getting ready to supply Jordan with twice as much drinking water as it currently does, pursuant to an agreement signed in 2010, and to help the country meet a steep rise in demand due to massive numbers of Syrian refugees, Globes reported on Thursday.

The 2010 agreement committed Israel to transferring up to an additional 50 million cubic meters to the Hashemite Kingdom besides a comparable amount already flowing from the Kinneret, in return for Jordan sending water to Israel from a new desalination plant to be built in Aqaba.

Gali Avraham, a manager at Mekorot, told Globes: “Israel is preparing to supply water to Jordan even before the desalination plant is completed. We were asked in the agreement to establish new infrastructure as a backup to the existing system, which will double the supply flowing to the Jordanians from 50 million cubic meters to 100 million cubic meters in the coming years.”

The chronic shortage of drinking water that has plagued Jordan and caused political unrest there again threatens stability due to the influx of millions of refugees from the Syrian civil war, putting a heavy additional strain on supply.

Israel’s willingness to help Jordan through its water crisis is a key element in the binational relationship, doing much to countervail the anti-Israel sentiment in the country.

“Mekorot supplies water to the Jordanians based on the 1994 peace accords,” says Avraham, “And one of the central components of the agreement between the two countries involved water. The historic accords dedicated an entire section to the distribution of water.