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‘Water deals with Israel not affected by Baqoura and Ghumar annexes’

By Hana Namrouqa - Oct 23,2018 - Last updated at Oct 23,2018

AMMAN — A senior official has brushed off news reports claiming Israeli officials have threatened to cut off water to the Kingdom after Amman declared that it would cancel two annexes of the peace treaty between the two sides.

He said that Jordanian-Israeli water affairs and cooperation are governed by binding bilateral agreements, the source said on Tuesday.

Water relations between Jordan and Israel are governed and organised under the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty, which guarantees Jordan “an equitable share of water from the Yarmouk and Jordan rivers,” the senior government official said.

Media reports said that Israeli agriculture minister Uri Ariel threatened on Monday to suspend water supply to Jordan, attributing the threat to stop water pumping to Jordan to His Majesty King Abdullah’s decision to terminate the Baqoura and Ghumar annexes in the peace treaty.

“The agreements governing water affairs between the two countries are intact. We didn’t receive any official communication from the Israeli side on the matter of water sharing, nor are we concerned with any threat,” the official told The Jordan Times.

Annex II to the peace treaty on water related matters stipulates that during the summer period, May 15-October 15 of each year, Israel pumps 12 million cubic metres (mcm) from the Yarmouk River and Jordan gets the rest of the flow, while during the winter period, October 16-May 14 of each year, Israel pumps 13mcm from the Yarmouk River and Jordan is entitled to the rest of the flow subject to provisions outlined. In addition, Jordan concedes to Israel pumping an additional 20mcm from the Yarmouk River in winter in return for Israel conceding to transferring to Jordan during the summer period 20mcm from the Jordan River directly upstream from Deganya gates on the river.

 The same annex also regulates allocation of water between the two countries from the Jordan River. The treaty indicates that during the summer period, May 15-October 15 of each year, in return for the additional water that Jordan concedes to Israel in winter, Israel concedes to transfer to Jordan in the summer period 20mcm from the Jordan River directly upstream from Deganya gates on the river, according to the peace treaty, which indicates that Jordan shall pay the operation and maintenance cost of such transfer through existing systems and shall bear the total cost of any new transmission system. Meanwhile, during the winter period, October 16-May 14 of each year, Jordan is entitled to store for its use a minimum average of 20mcm of the floods in the Jordan River south of its confluence with the Yarmouk.

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