Long-awaited Wehda Dam tender re-issued at smaller-scale
The governments of Jordan and Syria will invite bids this April for a re-issued tender for the construction of the Al-Wehda Dam on the northern Yarmuk River. The new proposal envisions the construction of a smaller damn, with a capacity of 125 cubic meters at a reduced cost of $120 million, compared with last year’s initial $220 million tender.
The project consists of pumping 100 million cubic meters of water from 65 wells from Disi, 325 kilometers south of Amman. The water will be used for irrigation and drinking purposes in Jordan and the rest will be kept for electricity generation in Syria.
The Jordanian and Syrian governments are relying on various Arab loans to cover the project’s cost. The Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development has agreed to give Jordan $115 million for the project, while the Jeddah’s Islamic Development Bank and the Abu Dhabi Fund will contribute a total of $56.8 million toward the project, reported Syrialive.
Both Jordan and Syria have suffered from water shortages in recent years. The Yarmouk river, which supplies Jordan with 135 million cubic meters of water per year, begins in Syria, flows along the Syrian-Jordanian border and then joins the Jordan River downstream from Lake Tiberias in Israel.
The project was put on hold in the 1980s, as political tension escalated between Jordan and Syria, mainly over Syria’s disapproval with Jordan's late ruler, King Hussein’s moderate approach in negotiating with Israel. The project was reactivated when Hussein's eldest son, Abdullah II, ascended to the throne in February 1999. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)