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Israel-Jordan-Palestinians water deal will generate electricity, save Dead Sea

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have
signed an infrastructure agreement.

Israel, Jordan and the PA signed an agreement to link the Red Sea and
Dead Sea. The signing took place on Dec. 9 at the World Bank in Washington
and stipulated the construction of a 180-kilometer water pipeline.

the-dead-sea0“The agreement is of the highest diplomatic, economic, environmental and
strategic importance,” Israeli Regional Cooperation Silvan Shalom said.

Officials said the pipeline project would save the shrinking Dead Sea as well as generate electricity. They said the pipeline could cost up to $400 million and take three years to complete.

The PA was represented by Water Authority Minister Shadad Atili, and Jordan by Water Minister Hazem Al Nasser. About 200 million cubic meters would be pumped annually, with desalination meant to reach 80 million cubic meters. The plan called for Jordan to receive 30 million meters of the desalinated water.

Officials said the pipeline would be established under the build-operate-transfer model. They said the tender would be released in 2014.

“The other goals of this project are the generation of electricity by
utilizing the difference in elevation between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea
and the development of tourism infrastructures,” Shalom said.

The plan has been deemed a revision of an earlier Israeli proposal for a
canal between the Red Sea and Dead Sea. The project was rejected as
unfeasible by the World Bank for both economic and environmental reasons.

“This is an agreement with a humanitarian aspect, designed to aid those
who need water,” Jordan’s Al Nasser said. “There is an ecological aspect as
well since we are trying to save the Dead Sea.”

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