Cooperation intensifies: the water agreement with Jordan will be extended

King Abdullah of Jordan, Benjamin Netanyahu (Shutterstock photo, Freepik, Flash 90/ Haim Goldberg)

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen is expected to extend the water agreement with Jordan by a year, according to Ynet. The extension comes after heavy pressure from the American government and mainly thanks to the help the Jordanian army gave to Israel in curbing the Iranian attack.

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In Jordan there is a major water crisis caused by small water sources, many refugees arriving from Syria, a long sequence of years of drought and population growth. In the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan, it was decided that Israel would be obligated to transfer to Jordan approximately 50 million cubic meters of water per year. In 2021, former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett extended the agreement, which is expected to expire next month, and doubled the amount to 100 million cubic meters per year

The former Minister of Energy, Yisrael Katz, announced last July at a ceremonial initiation ceremony on the occasion of the completion of preparations for the connection of the desalination plant in Shork, about the addition of approximately 100 million cubic meters of water per year destined for Jordan and coming from desalinated water: “By the end of the year, Israel will sign an agreement to double the amount of water supplied to Jordan, from 100 million cubic meters per year to about 200 million cubic meters. The addition will come from salted water.”

This addition was made possible thanks to the connection of the new desalination facility, the construction of which is estimated at approximately NIS 550 million. In addition, it made it possible to increase the amount of desalinated water in Israel by an additional 200 million cubic meters per year.

The Jordanians wanted to sign a 5-year agreement with Israel on the water issue, after seeing that Israel was procrastinating on signing, they decided to reduce the time to just one year. The reason for the Israeli procrastination is related to the many condemnations that Israel has received from Jordan since October 7.

The Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi and the Jordanian Queen Rania Al-Abdullah often speak out against the IDF’s actions in the Gaza Strip, the Queen even claimed that she suspects that Israel is committing genocide.

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