Jordan, Syria Hold New Round of Water Talks
Jordan and Syria are currently holding another round of talks on bilateral water issues, said Jordan’s Minister of Water Hazem Nasser on Wednesday.
According to Nasser, the talks will focus on a Jordanian proposal to Syria to provide the kingdom with an additional water grant, necessary for Jordan to counter an expected water crisis this summer as it needs 146 million cubic meters (mcm) but only has 120mcm, said the Jordan Times.
“No agreements have been reached yet...But the Syrians are willing to help us,” said the minister.
He did not elaborate or say how much water was being requested of Damascus or when the talks would conclude.
But an informed source told the paper that the talks would actually focus more on what he called Syrian “violations” of a 1987 water agreement with Jordan.
The source said “it seems” that the first round of talks carried out by former water minister Hatem Halawani in April failed.
The revision of the 1987 water-sharing agreement is being carried out to secure Jordan a higher flow of Yarmouk River water, essential to render the estimated JD146 million joint Jordanian-Syrian Wihdeh Dam feasible.
“But with the Syrians continuing to build dams [on the river] without consulting Jordan, their provision of water to summer crops would render the dam impossible,” said the source.
The long-awaited dam is expected to supply Jordan with an additional 110mcm of water annually and generate power for Syria.
The current flow of Yarmouk River is between 2 and 2.5 cubic meters per second, and Jordan wants it to rise to 3 cubic meters per second – Albawaba.com