Report: Mideast Conflict Hinders Turkey’s Plans to Sell Water to Israel, Arabs
Turkey's long-running plans to sell water to Israel and other parties, including the Arabs, have not been implemented due to fears of its possible political effect on Ankara because of the Arab-Israeli conflict, said a report by Turkish Daily News on Monday.
Until recently, the sale of water from Manavgat, in southern Turkey, had turned into a commercial dispute rather than a political one, given the relative reduction of distrust between the Arabs and Israelis.
Turkey has focused on the sale of water to Israel, and many meetings between representatives of the two countries have taken place, most recently in Ankara on May 23.
The daily said that two days before the Turkish-Israeli conference, members of the Turkish Maritime Chamber and State Waterworks Authority general manager Dogan Altinbilek met “in a very tense atmosphere.”
Turkey's leading tanker transporters blamed Altinbilek for not cooperating with the Turkish transporters in the sale of water to Israel.
The transportation of water is vital due to its financial potential, as Turkey may implement other projects involving the building of facilities on rivers in the Mediterranean region.
Manavgat, from where Israel plans to buy 50 million cubic meters of water per year, has a capacity of 180 million cubic meters of treated and untreated water per year, almost four times the capacity Israel is looking for, according to the report.
Carrying 50 million cubic meters of water to Israel requires three tankers capable of carrying 250 tons each. To carry all of Manavgat's water to interested parties there would need to be tankers with a total 1 million-ton capacity.
The water supply project from the Manavgat River started in 1992 with a cost of $147 million. Currently, the treated water is undergoing further treatment to bring it up to EU standards.
A Turkish water analyst, quoted by the daily, said Manavagat was intended as a prototype to pave the way for other projects to be implemented on other rivers in the Mediterranean region.
Water requirements in the Mediterranean region are predicted to reach 5 billion cubic meters per year in the coming 10 to 15 years, according to the same analyst.
This potential would mean more tankers would be required in future, thus making the water transport market very attractive, concluded the paper – Albawaba.com
Turkey has almost 16 billion cubic meters of water flowing into the Mediterranean. Manavagat managed to make 180 million cubic meters of this commercially viable.
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)