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Bridge for peace

Jul 16,2017 - Last updated at Jul 16,2017

Jordan welcomed with good reason the recently reached water agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to increase water supplies to the Palestinian territories.

It is based on the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project (Red-Dead), which involves Jordan and which had been talked about but remained a dream unfulfilled until recently.

The water scheme is a major regional endeavour and is based on the memorandum of understanding signed in 2013 between Jordan, Palestine and Israel, stipulating that Israel would provide the PA with 30 million cubic metres (mcm) of additional water starting this summer and until 2021.

This would be a sure-way of maintaining the steadfastness of the Palestinians on their own soil, and a giant step in the direction of establishing their own viable and independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The project also entails the construction of a desalination plant in Aqaba that can provide an urgently needed additional water resource for Jordan.

Under the memorandum, Israel will buy its share of 50mcm of desalinated water from the project at cost value and sell Jordan the same amount of water in the northern Jordan Valley at a cost of JD0.27 per cubic metre.

The Red-Dead project’s main components are a seawater intake structure; an intake pump station; a seawater pipeline; a desalination plant with a capacity of 65-85mcm per year; a desalination brine conveyance pipeline; two lifting pump stations; hydropower plants; and discharge facilities at the Dead Sea.

The World Bank is sponsoring the entire mega-project in order to provide much needed freshwater to Jordan, the PA and Israel, and replenish the quickly drying up Dead Sea with an additional water source.

The project’s first phase, which costs $1.1 billion, is slated for early 2018 and is scheduled to end in 2020.

Under the first phase, a total of 300mcm of water will be pumped each year. Eventually, up to 2 billion cubic metres of seawater will be transferred from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea annually under the Red-Dead project, according to the ministry.

A total of 85-100mcm of water will be desalinated every year, while the seawater will be pumped out from an intake located in the north of the Gulf of Aqaba.

In addition, a conveyor will be extended to transfer desalinated water as well as a pipeline to dump the brine into the Dead Sea to stop its constant decline, estimated at one metre every year.

Saving the Dead Sea from dying has religious, touristic and commercial dimensions that cannot go ignored.

The project is not only about water and saving such a major site.

It is basically a bridge for construction of peace and stability in the region.

Joint economic projects are critical for promoting peace and understanding in the troubled Middle East.

This is how peace and progress can be promoted and advanced.


The Red-Dead is a long-dreamed-about project that is finally coming to life.

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