The chairman of Jordan’s Joint Water Committee, Saad Abu Hammour, told Anadolu News Agency on Thursday that his country is considering importing additional water from Israel. The kingdom already purchases water from the Israelis under the terms of the Wadi Araba peace treaty.
Concluded in 1994, the treaty stipulates that Israel will provide Jordan with certain quantities of water and any additional quantities the Kingdom might need. Abu Hammour explained that thousands of Syrian refugees now in Jordan’s northern governorates, mainly Irbid, Ajloun, Jerash and Mafraq, will require the government to purchase between 10 and 15 million cubic metres of water extra in order to supply these areas. According to an agreement signed in 2010, said Abu Hammour, the cost will be 37.5 US cents per cubic metre. The water will be taken from Lake Tiberias and the Dajana water line. He denied Israeli media claims that the order has already been placed. “It is simply under consideration,” he insisted.
Jordan hosts nearly one million Syrians, almost half of whom are registered as refugees. Around 130,000 live in designated camps, according to official statistics. This makes Jordan the main host country for Syrian refugees who have fled their country since the violence erupted in 2011. They live mainly in four major refugee camps: Zaatari is the largest; Mrejeib Al-Fhood; the park camp in Ramtha; and the Cyber City refugee camp which also houses Palestinian “double” refugees who used to live in Syria.