Looming Water Crisis in Israel
Israel is being warned that the country's water supplies are dangerously low and it will have to accept drastic cuts in consumption, reported BBC.online, citing an official report.
The report, drafted by the Israeli water commissioner Shimon Tal, will be presented to the government Wednesday, said the BBC.
It is expected to call for a total ban on the watering of lawns for the next three years, and a ten percent reduction in the supply to industry.
As well as the practical problems caused by water shortages, the issue has deep political implications in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The Palestinians accuse Israel of diverting water away from their towns to keep Jewish settlements in the occupied territories supplied.
The report suggests desalination as a long-term solution, and says as a short-term measure Israel might import water from Turkey.
According to an Israeli research, a desalination plant can range in cost from $3-5 billion dollars to build in addition to the needed amount of electrical power and maintenance costs.
“If Israel gives up control of the Judean/Samarian [West Bank] water resources (30 percent) and possible the 40 percent under the Golan Heights to Syria, the foreseeable over-pumping will lower the water-table of Israel's only remaining aquifer on the coast and the Mediterranean will invade the sweet water,” says Emanuel Winston, a Middle East analyst, in his report published on the Internet.
According to the Wadi Araba peace treaty between Jordan and Israel in 1994, Israel has to supply Jordan with 50 million cubic meters of water. The agreement hasn’t been fully implemented, especially after the 1999 drought hitting the area – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)