The Role of the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project for Regional Cooperation in the Jordan River Basin
|Geolocation:||32° 28' 31.0116", 35° 33' 59.292"|
|Climate Descriptors||Semi-arid/steppe (Köppen B-type), Arid/desert (Köppen B-type)|
|Predominent Land Use Descriptors||agricultural- cropland and pasture, industrial use, mining operations, religious/cultural sites|
|Important Uses of Water||Agriculture or Irrigation, Domestic/Urban Supply, Mining/Extraction support, Other Ecological Services|
|Water Features:||Dead Sea, Jordan River, Red Sea, Yarmuk River|
|Riparians:||Israel, Jordan, Palestinian Territories|
|Water Projects:||Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance|
|Agreements:||Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace, Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Oslo II Agreement)|
- 1 Summary
- 2 Natural, Historic, Economic, Regional, and Political Framework
- 3 Issues and Stakeholders
- 4 Analysis, Synthesis, and Insight
- 5 Key Questions
- 6 External Links
The Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project is a multinational proposal by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Israel and Palestine to build a 180 km pipeline designed to carry up to two billion cubic meters of desalinated seawater per year from the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea through Jordanian territory to the Dead Sea. For the past few decades, the Dead Sea has been shrinking rapidly (receding approximately 3 feet or 1 m per year) due to the diversion of water from the Jordan River into irrigation agriculture and domestic uses as well as mineral mining from its waters in the south. To address the ecological crisis in the Dead Sea, while also generating hydropower and increasing water supply through desalination, the three states signed a Memorandum of Understanding to realize the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project with the mediation of the World Bank in 2013, despite criticism from civil society organizations and environmental groups. The first phase of the project, costing US$10 billion in total, involves the construction of a desalination plant in the coastal town of Aqaba on the Read Sea, which was completed in March 2017. The Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation has chosen five international consortiums made up of 20 engineering firms from across North America, Europe, and Asia to carry out the first phase. The subsequent phase of the project, pumping stations and pipelines that will transport desalinated water to the Dead Sea, is planned to be completed in 2021.
Natural, Historic, Economic, Regional, and Political Framework
The Dead Sea sits in what is referred to as the Jordan Valley rift system between the African plate on the west and the Arabian plate on the east. The lowest point in the Jordan Rift Valley is the Dead Sea. At 400 meters below sea level, the shore of the Dead Sea is the lowest land on earth but rises sharply to almost 1,000 meters in the west and east. A highly saline body of water with no natural outlet, the Dead Sea is bordered by three states: Israel, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Palestine. The main source of freshwater flow into the Dead Sea is the 251-kilometre-long Jordan River, which flows from the Sea of Galilee to the north.
There are five riparian states that share the Jordan River: Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine and Jordan. The valley north of the Dead Sea has long been a site of agriculture, with some of the earliest evidence for the domestication of agricultural crops, due to the water available from the Jordan River and numerous springs located on the valley’s wadis. The Jordan River originates from three spring-fed streams that contribute about 660 MCM/yr into the Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Tiberias, which stores approximately 4,000 MCM of water. About 500 MCM/yr flows out of Lake Tiberias into the Lower Jordan, which converges with the Yarmouk River 10 km, contributing an estimated 40% of the total combined flow. The Lower Jordan River flows along the northwest border of Jordan, forming the border first with Israel and then with the Palestinian West Bank, finally emptying into the Dead Sea (Priscoli et al. 2010).
Jordan ranks as the 3rd poorest nation in terms of freshwater resources at 133m3/person/year. Jordan produces around 880 billion cubic meters distributed over drinking household consumption and other economic activities and agriculture which alone consume 58% of total water. In 2015, Jordan faced a water deficit of 104.8 MCM per year (Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 2014). As the Upper Jordan River flows south into Sea of Galilee, which provides the largest freshwater storage capacity along the Jordan River and winds further south through the Jordan Valley, Palestinians are denied any access to the water of the river. About a quarter of the 420 MCM Israel pumps from the Sea of Galilee goes to the local communities in Israel and to Jordan, the rest is diverted to Israel through the National Water Carrier (NWC) before it can reach the West Bank.
In the region at large, there is also a broader trend of an increasingly drying climate that raises further concerns about water availability in the Jordan Valley. The Mediterranean basin is one of the few regions where circulation models concur in their prediction of decreasing precipitation totals (Bates et al. 2008). In a recent study, scientists from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and University of Arizona analyzed 900 years (1100–2012) of Mediterranean drought variability and found that the recent 15-year drought in the Levant (1998–2012) was the driest in the record (Cook et al. 2016). Simulations show about a 10% decline in precipitation across the region by both the middle and the end of the century, with considerable variation between countries and international river basins (Chenoweth et al., 2011).
Located in an area that receives less than 100 millimeters (under 4 inches) of rain per year and where temperatures often exceed 45°C, the Dead Sea is completely reliant on inflow for its continued existence. It is estimated that the total inflow to the Dead Sea has been reduced from around 1,250 million cubic meters (MCM) per year in 1950 to around 260 MCM per year in 2010. About two thirds of the reduction in the Dead Sea’s water level is due to this diversion of the water upstream by companies and farms in Israel, Jordan and Syria. The remaining 30 to 40 percent of the reduction is caused by the large mining companies in Israel and Jordan located in the southern section of the Dead Sea that transfer the water into evaporation ponds to make potash and bromine (Kool 2016).
Approximately 600,000 people are living in the valley on both sides of the lower part of the Jordan River, including 55,000 Israelis (49,000 in Israel and 6000 settlers in the West Bank) 62,000 Palestinians, 247,000 registered Jordanians, and an estimated 250,000 foreign workers in Jordan, primarily from Egypt, Iraq, and (more recently) Syria. The Jordan Valley is the major agricultural production region for Jordan and Israel. 61.5 % of the area between the Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea consists of uncultivated land, with 32 % used for agriculture and 3.6 % as built-up area, defined as “space required for infrastructure and urban areas” (Kool 2016).
On a national scale Jordan’s agricultural export, mainly fruits and vegetables, accounts for about 550 Million JOD (2014), mainly to the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Canada, Germany, France, and to a lesser extend to the Gulf States. 20 % of Jordanians are employed in the agriculture, fishing, forestry sector. Israel is likewise a major exporter of agricultural products (accounting for about 2.2 Billion USD) as well as agricultural technologies. However the Jordan Valley plays a minor role in the agricultural production, since the bulk is produced in the central and western regions of the country. The diversion of water to irrigation agriculture, industry and domestic use has reduced the flow of the lower Jordan River to less than 2% of its original flow with the quality of water compromised by the seepage of sewage and agricultural runoff (Kool 2016).
As a result of reduced inflow from the Jordan River and mining operations in its southern banks, the Dead Sea has lost more than a third of its surface over the past two decades. Data from the Geological Survey of Israel (GSI) shows that in 1976, the Dead Sea was at -398 meters below sea level, whereas in December 2015 it had reached almost -430 meters. The rate of recession is accelerating – in the first two decades since 1976, the water level dropped by 6 meters each decade, in the third decade it fell by 9 meters and in the last decade it plummeted by 11 meters. Sinkholes around the Dead Sea started forming around 1990 and in 2013, there were 4,336 sinkholes along the banks of the Dead Sea, with some of these craters having a depth of 80 feet (Hasson 2016).
Evolution of the Red to Dead Sea Conveyance Proposal
The idea of connecting the Red Sea to the Dead Sea dates to the mid 19th century when British officers sought ways to compete with the French-built Suez Canal. Later on, due to the Dead Sea’s position below sea level, planners such as Zionist leader Theodor Herzl speculated in his 1902 work “Old-New Land” (Altneuland) about his dream of building a canal to the Dead Sea and ways in which the height drop could be used for energy production (Green 2013). After the 1967 closure of the Suez Canal and the 1973 Arab oil embargo, energy security became a major concern for the government of Israel. Thus, the government decided to examine the feasibility of building a conveyance to the Dead Sea from the Mediterranean Sea for hydropower production, which was thought to be more economically viable than a canal from the Red Sea. Israeli engineering company Tahal Consulting Engineers was assigned to conduct a feasibility assessment in 1976. In March 1981 the Mediterranean Dead Sea Company was established, however drawing political opposition beyond borders. The fact that the conveyance route recommended by the feasibility study was planned to go through the Gaza Strip sparked political problems, including several UN General Assembly resolutions and UNEP Governing Council resolutions that condemned Israel’s unilateral plan. The project was later shelved in 1986, not because of the backlash from the United Nations but mainly because of economic considerations due to high interest rates (Willner, 2017).
The Red to Dead Sea project gathered renewed interest at the 1993 multilateral peace negotiations, as part of the Oslo Accords, when Munther Haddadin, then senior Jordanian negotiator, reintroduced it as a solution to replenish the Dead Sea, where sinkholes had started to appear. The proposal also sought to augment the region’s freshwater supply, and build regional peace (Willner, 2017). In July 1994, Israel and Jordan signed The Washington Declaration and negotiated the Treaty of Peace, signed in October 1994. The treaty determines allocations for both the Yarmouk and Jordan rivers, calls for joint efforts to prevent water pollution and establishes the Israel–Jordan Joint Water Committee (IJJWC), comprised of three members from each country. The Committee was tasked to seek experts and advisors as required and form specialized subcommittees with technical tasks assigned. Israel and Jordan also exchange relevant data on water resources through the IJJWC and agreed to cooperate in developing plans to increase water supply and improve water use efficiency. The dialogue around the 1994 and 1997 Israel–Jordan agreements led to discussions on the possibility of building a canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, which also came to be known as the “Peace Canal”, to produce desalinated water with hydropower (Shamir 1998). However, the assassination of then Israeli President Yizhak Rabin—who played a key role in the Oslo Accords receiving the Nobel Peace prize along with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East—stalled further discussions on regional cooperation to address the water management in the Jordan Valley.
It was not until 2002 when Israeli and Jordanian officials approached the World Bank for support with the project. In the new millennium, the World Bank launched an ambitious 16.7 million USD project to study the feasibility of the Red Sea-Dead Sea pipeline. World Bank’s operational policy (OP 7.50) on international waterways requires formal notification to all riparian states adversely affected by transboundary projects (Salman 2009). Thus, if a riparian objects to the project, the World Bank is expected to undertake analysis of the objection and to request changes or withdraw funding in response to any legitimate concerns. Palestinian representatives learned of the World Bank’s interest in the feasibility study and outlined their objections to the project due to their exclusion from the feasibility and negotiation process. As a result, former World Bank President James Wolfenson argued for a tri-partisan feasibility study in which Palestine would be represented equally at the negotiation table. After two years of protracted negotiations, the three countries and the World Bank issued a Terms of Reference in April 2005, which identified three objectives of the project:
- prevent the further degradation of the Dead Sea
- generate hydropower and provide desalinated water
- promote regional stability and peacebuilding.
Jordan has been the strongest proponent of the Red-Dead canal, as the country’s access to fresh water is among the most restricted in the world. Given that water for domestic consumption is already rationed for the Jordanian population and increasing demand for water with the influx of Iraqi and Syrian refugee populations, Jordan is concerned with the future of water supply. “Potable water is a priority in Jordan and we are trying to secure it by linking the two seas,” explains Saad Abu Hamour, Secretary General of the Jordan Valley Authority and Jordanian head of the Israel-Jordan Joint Water Committee who has expressed commitment for the country's ongoing support for the proposed conduit. Additionally Hamour cites that the project will employ 1,700 people during the peak years of construction” (Josephs, 2016). According to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the benefits of the project are fourfold:
- Establish a Secure and Affordable Water Supply for Jordan while Saving the Dead Sea from Extinction
- Support Widespread Economic Growth in Jordan
- Provide for Potential Regional Water Sharing
- Facilitate Private and Public Partnership through a (Build-Operate-Transfer) project (Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 2014)
The World Bank to date has held public forums in Amman and Aqaba in Jordan, Eilat and Jerusalem in Israel, and Ramallah and Jericho, in the West Bank. These public discussions centered around the feasibility study, an environmental and social assessment and a study of alternatives conducted by the World Bank. The resulting reports concluded that the project was feasible from engineering, economic and environmental standpoints. Red Sea to Dead Sea Water Conveyance (RSDSC) Study conducted by Tahal Group, The Geological Survey of Israel (GSI), Portland State University - Oregon, USA and Institute of Life Sciences found that the environmental risks of the project are manageable if the project is well planned and executed. The report concludes that at volumes of <400 MCM/yr, the limnology of the Dead Sea will not be greatly influenced by the additional inflow. Larger inflows will need to be added very carefully while monitoring the response of the system to the dilution, which they suggest, could be tested through a pilot. Nonetheless, the conclusions of these reports have been challenged by local NGOs such as Friends of the Earth Middle East.
Countering the finding of the World Bank reports, Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME), a tri-lateral organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists, has argued that the mega-project was fatally flawed from the outset. FoEME’s stance is that the only sustainable solution to increase the supply of water entering the Dead Sea is through the rehabilitation the Jordan River, which has historically fed the Dead Sea with fresh water. To this end, the NGO has recently led a master planning effort, resulting in the “Regional NGO Master Plan for Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley” published in 2015. When Jordan announced the bid for the formation of a consortium last year, FoEME protested against the allegedly premature approval of the project, without sufficient assessment of the project's impact on the natural environment of the area. Some of the potential harms of the project that they have identified include (FoEME):
- Damage to the unique natural system of the Dead Sea, due to mixing its water with Red Sea water. The discharge of brine that is created from the process of desalinating Red Sea water into the Dead Sea, which has a different chemical composition, can lead to changes in water salinity, formation of gypsum, formation of volatile toxic compounds and changes in the composition of bacteria and algae.
- Damage to the coral reefs of the Gulf of Aqaba due to water pumping out of the Red Sea.
- Damage to the natural landscape and ecosystem of the Arabah, due to the construction,
- Increase in humidity caused by the open canal segments and potential effects on aquifers in cases of spillage
- Accumulation of silt and potential leakage of water during transport
- Threats to archeological heritage such as Wadi Finan, where the earliest copper mining and extraction in the world took place.
Gidon Bromberg, Israeli director for EcoPeace Middle East (formerly Friends of the Earth Middle East), welcomed the construction of the desalination plant, but argued that conveying the brine to the Dead Sea could cause irreparable damage to the basin. EcoPeace has long argued that mixing brine with Dead Sea water could alter its unique chemistry, and instead favors releasing more water from the Jordan River to replenish the salty basin. Similarly, independent researchers and scientists from Israel and Jordan have expressed concerns about introducing Red Sea brine to the Dead Sea. For example, Dr. Joseph Lati of the Dead Sea Works industry, one of the world's leading potash fertilizer producers, carried out a range of independent experiments to explore the effects of mixing. The results show crystals of gypsum floating on the brine in small containers with 70% Dead Sea water mixing with 30% Red Sea water, which leads to a blooming of red colored bacteria. “So I would advise extreme caution in this project unless and until the full effects are known,” concludes Lati (Josephs, 2016).
Despite criticisms, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Dec 9, 2013 at the World Bank in Washington DC agreeing to start implementation of the first phase of the project. In May 2015, Israel and Jordan signed an agreement providing for a joint administration to draft a tender and choose the contractors for the project. Officials said that construction of the desalination facility was expected to start in about 18 months, while the laying of the 180-kilometer pipe would begin in about three years. During the project development process, the effect of the diluted water on the Dead Sea and other environmental concerns will be studied and monitored (Coren, 2015).
According to the latest design of the project, the pipeline will start at Aqaba, the Jordanian port, where a desalination plant will be built, and will run through Jordanian territory, generating hydroelectric power from its final stretch where the altitude drops to several hundred meters below sea level into the Dead Sea. As part of a water swap, freshwater from Aqaba will be bought by Israel’s southern Arava region, Jordan will buy Israeli water from the Sea of Galilee in the north to provide drinking water to Amman, the capital of Jordan. Similarly the Palestinian Authority will buy water from an Israeli desalination plant as part of a water swap, as pumping water further north would be too expensive (Reed, 2017).
A technical cooperation agreement between Jordan, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French Development Agency (AFD) was also signed in May, 2016, opening the way for three studies to be carried out on the economic and financial implications and the environmental and social impact of the project. On June 21, 2016, Jordan announced that it received 17 bids from international firms to construct the canal. In December 2016, the Jordanian government announced that it shortlisted five consortiums to implement the project to begin construction in the first quarter of 2018, and complete the project by 2021 (Venture 2016). In March 2017, Jordan’s first water desalination plant opened in Aqaba, with the capacity to process 500 cubic meters of water per hour. The plant will provide the same amount of water as the Disi project, the main water conveyance project that brings water to Amman from Disi aquifer in the southern desert.
Connections to the Water Diplomacy Framework and Moving Forward
Scholars have argued that technocratic solutions are inclined to favor supply-oriented options rather than solutions based rights-based distribution or ethics of sustainable development (Aggestam et al. 2016). Although the World Bank’s charter prevents it from directly being involved in politics during project implementation, in the case of the Red to Dead Sea project, the preparation feasibility study was not seen as a neutral process, especially by non-government organizations and independent researchers. Thus, in this context, while the environmental impact assessments commissioned by the World Bank directly responded to the criticisms by environmental NGOs, a process of joint fact-finding should also include non-governmental actors that find these studies flawed by creating a mechanism similar to peer reviewing when finalizing the impact assessment process.
More general trends of privatization in the water sector coincide with similar developments in the field of peacebuilding, where new transnational actors and consortiums are gaining influence as “new peacemakers.” Moving forward, the contribution of the Water Diplomacy framework in the context of the Jordan Valley would be one similar to the master planning process conducted by Friends of the Earth Middle East, which includes an extensive stakeholder assessment and identification of mutual benefits to address the problem from the perspective of sustainable development alternatives and cross-sectoral cooperation. Advocating for greater efficiency of water use and sustainable development upstream in the Jordan Valley is another alternative to increasing the flow of water into the Dead Sea that should be implemented in tandem.
Aggestam, Karin, and Anna Sundell. (2016). “Depoliticizing Water Conflict: Functional Peacebuilding in the Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project.” Hydrological Sciences Journal 61.7, 1302–1312.
Bates, B. C, Kundzewicz, Z. W., Wu, S. & Palutikof, J. P. (2008). Climate change and water. Technical Paper. IPCC Secretariat, Geneva.
Chenoweth, Jonathan et al. 2011. “Impact of Climate Change on the Water Resources of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Region: Modeled 21st Century Changes and Implications.” Water Resources Research 47.6.
Cook, B.I., et al. (2016). "Spatiotemporal drought variability in the Mediterranean over the last 900 years." Journal Of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 121, no. 5, p. 2060-2074.
Coren, Ora. (2015, February 27). Israel, Jordan Sign Red–Dead Canal Agreement. Haaretz. Retrieved from, http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/business/.premium-1.644601
Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME). Red-Dead Conduit, Retrieved from, https://web.archive.org/web/20070405233944/http://foeme.org/projects.php?ind=51
Green, D. B. (2013, April 30). 1902: Theodor Herzl Finishes His Novel “Old-New Land.” Haaretz. Retrieved from http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/this-day-in-jewish-history/1902-theodor-herzl-finishes-his-novel-old-new-land.premium-1.518347
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Ministry of Water and Irrigation. (2014). Red Sea-Dead Sea Project Phase I, from http://www.waj.gov.jo/sites/ar-jo/Documents/Presentation--%20RSDS%20Project%20-%20Feb%202014.pdf Hasson, Nir. (2016, 01 March). The Dead Sea: A dramatic look at Israel's endangered natural wonder. Haaretz, from http://www.haaretz.com/st/c/prod/global/deadsea/eng/5/
The Jordan Times (JT). (March 18, 2017). Jordan’s first water desalination plant opens in Aqaba. Retrieved from, http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/jordan%E2%80%99s-first-water-desalination-plant-opens-aqaba
Josephs, Jeremy (2016). Green Light for Red-Dead Sea Pipeline Project. Water and Wastewater International. Retrieved May 10, 2017, from http://www.waterworld.com/articles/wwi/print/volume-28/issue-6/technology-case-studies/water-provision/green-light-for-red-dead-sea-pipeline-project.html
Priscoli, J. D., & Wolf, A. T. (2010). Managing and Transforming Water Conflicts. Cambridge University Press. Reed, John. (March 22, 2017). New pipeline plan may help save the Dead Sea. Financial Times. Retrieved May 18, 2017, from https://www.ft.com/content/c9a188c4-bad1-11e6-8b45-b8b81dd5d080
Salman, Salman. 2009. The World Bank Policy for Projects on International Waterways. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Shamir, Uri. (1998). Water Agreements Between Israel and Its Neighbors. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Bulletin 103.
Simmon, R. (2016, April 6). The Dead Sea. Retrieved May 18, 2017, from https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=77592&src=flickr
Venture Magazine. (2016, December 28). Consortiums Selected for Red-Dead Project. Retrieved from, http://www.venturemagazine.me/2016/12/consortiums-selected-red-dead-project/
Willner, S. E. (2017). Maritime navigation, energy security, and peace dividend: Exploring the historic developments of the Dead Sea conveyance project. The Journal of the Middle East and Africa, 8(1), 113–127.
Zawahri, N., & Weinthal, E. (2014). The World Bank and Negotiating the Red Sea and Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project. Global Environmental Politics, 14(4), 55–74.
Issues and Stakeholders
The Jordanian government is unilaterally leading the construction of the conveyance project, even though NGOs are still contesting the project’s ecological value and potential negative impacts on the ecosystem of the Dead Sea. How can the Jordanian government address the concerns of non-state actors like Friends of the Earth Middle East?
NSPD: Water Quantity, Water Quality, Ecosystems, Assets
Stakeholder Types: Federated state/territorial/provincial government, Non-legislative governmental agency, Environmental interest
The cost to finance the 180 km conveyance project both in terms of short term construction and long term maintenance is very significant. Friends of the Earth Middle East has proposed an alternative regional plan to build smaller infrastructure projects such as wastewater treatment plants and water efficiency measures for irrigation agriculture in the valley to increase the flow of the Jordan River, which will also serve to replenish the Dead Sea. The Jordanian and Israeli governments should make a commitment to realize these projects in tandem with the Red to Dead Sea Conveyance project to provide co-benefits to the communities that live in the valley.
Stakeholders: • Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Ministry of Water and Irrigation • Government of Israel • Jordan Valley Authority• Friends of the Earth Middle East
The impact of mining operations on the southern banks of the Dead Sea has not been featured sufficiently in the discussions leading up to the signing of the MoU in 2013. Are there any initiatives to address water use intensity of the mining industry as a demand-side measure to replenish the Dead Sea?
NSPD: Water Quantity, Water Quality, Ecosystems
Stakeholder Types: Sovereign state/national/federal government, Environmental interest, Industry/Corporate Interest
According to the Red Sea – Dead Sea Water Conveyance Study Program Chemical Industry Analysis Study, sponsored by the World Bank, there is no clear path, at this time, for reduction of brine intake from Dead Sea. The report suggests that any significant reduction in Dead Sea brine usage is unlikely under current scenario and that any such prospect would require a separate study and cooperation with DSW and APC. The Red to Dead Sea Conveyance proposal and the regional master plan prepared by Friends of the Earth Middle East should include actionable solutions to address the impact of mining operations on the Dead Sea water levels and ecosystem, such as water efficiency measures for salt and potash mining.
Stakeholders: • The Dead Sea Works LTD • Arab Potash Company • Jordan Valley Authority • Government of Isreal • Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan• Friends of the Earth Middle East
Analysis, Synthesis, and Insight
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Water sharing and transfer is an important mechanism that the three states are using to address asymmetry of geopolitical power in the basin. For example, Jordan receives 35 million cubic meters of water from Israel every year, according to the peace treaty signed between the two countries. In the Red Sea to Dead Sea Conveyance project the desalination plant that will be built by Jordan and will run through Jordanian territory will provide freshwater from the port of Aqaba to Israel’s southern Arava region as a water swap. Similarly. Jordan will buy Israeli water from the Sea of Galilee in the north to provide drinking water to Amman, the capital of Jordan, instead of building extraneous infrastructure to pump water to the city from the south (Reed, 2017). Identification of such mutual gains and competitive advantages is one way to address asymmetries in power and access to resources. Nonetheless, Palestine’s access to water remains a key question that is unresolved and may require repeated negotiations through the Joint Water Committee.
|Agreement||Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace + and Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Oslo II Agreement) +|
|Climate||Semi-arid/steppe (Köppen B-type) + and Arid/desert (Köppen B-type) +|
|Geolocation||32° 28' 31.0116", 35° 33' 59.292"Latitude: 32.475281|
Longitude: 35.56647 +
|Issue||The Jordanian government is unilaterally l … The Jordanian government is unilaterally leading the construction of the conveyance project, even though NGOs are still contesting the project’s ecological value and potential negative impacts on the ecosystem of the Dead Sea. How can the Jordanian government address the concerns of non-state actors like Friends of the Earth Middle East?ors like Friends of the Earth Middle East? + and The impact of mining operations on the sou … The impact of mining operations on the southern banks of the Dead Sea has not been featured sufficiently in the discussions leading up to the signing of the MoU in 2013. Are there any initiatives to address water use intensity of the mining industry as a demand-side measure to replenish the Dead Sea?nd-side measure to replenish the Dead Sea? +|
|Key Question||How does asymmetry of power influence water negotiations and how can the negative effects be mitigated? +|
|Land Use||agricultural- cropland and pasture +, industrial use +, mining operations + and religious/cultural sites +|
|NSPD||Water Quantity +, Water Quality +, Ecosystems + and Assets +|
|Riparian||Israel +, Jordan + and Palestinian Territories +|
|Stakeholder Type||Federated state/territorial/provincial government +, Non-legislative governmental agency +, Environmental interest +, Sovereign state/national/federal government + and Industry/Corporate Interest +|
|Water Feature||Dead Sea +, Jordan River +, Red Sea + and Yarmuk River +|
|Water Project||Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance +|
|Water Use||Agriculture or Irrigation +, Domestic/Urban Supply +, Mining/Extraction support + and Other Ecological Services +|
|Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.||The Role of the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project for Regional Cooperation in the Jordan River Basin +|