Israel commits to billion-dollar water deal with Turkey
Strategic allies Israel and Turkey finalized a water agreement on Tuesday, August 6. Although the deal’s cost is yet to be concluded, cash-strapped Turkey is expecting it would bring in between $800 million and one billion dollars over the contract’s 20-year term.
Ankara had tied the long-delayed water deal to a big arms purchase, providing for the sale of Israeli-made tanks and air force technology, whose value was also undisclosed. The announcement also cleared the way for Israeli companies to carry out $700 million infrastructure projects, part of Turkeys $20 billion GAP irrigation scheme.
The water deal’s sticking points, however—key issues of costs, transportation, sanitation technology and the division of risks between the two governments—are yet to be finalized by a newly formed joint committee.
Under the terms of the 20-year water agreement, Israel will import 50 million cubic meters of water per annum from Turkey, enough to satisfy about 2.5 percent of Israel's annual consumption of potable water. Turkey has already constructed a $150 million water export facility on the Manavgat river in Antalya.
The price of imported water from Turkey is estimated to reach $0.75-0.80 per cubic meter, over the contract’s full 20-year term. Suffering from a grave water shortage, Israel considered desalinating seawater at a lower cost of $0.54 per cubic meter. However, facilities for such an endeavor are expected to become operational in five years’ time. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)