Reports: Lebanon to limit use of Wazzani project to drinking water only and not for irrigation
Lebanon will limit its plan to pump water from the Hasbani tributary of the Wazzani River to drinking water only, the Lebanese daily A Nahar reported Saturday. The plan initially included the use of water for irrigation.
According to the report, the Lebanese government took this decision following intervention by the American administration, which has sought to reduce the level of tension between Israel and Lebanon over the controversial scheme.
AFP added that the decision was due to the work of U.S. envoy Richard Lawson, who visited the region in an attempt to resolve the crisis.
Meanwhile, Lebanon's Prime Minister Rafik Hariri said Friday that Lebanon has rejected since day one any suggestion to use the Litani River as a substitute for the Hasbani or the Wazzani Springs because both represent vital needs to the population in each basin area.
Speaking to Arab ambassadors in Tokyo, he said suggestions that Lebanon should use the Wazzani for drinking purposes only were also not acceptable as Lebanon’s rights were determined by international law.
Well-informed diplomatic sources said Friday that while pumping water from the Wazzani would begin as scheduled Wednesday, installing pipes to draw water for irrigation from the Litani River will be postponed for legal considerations, The Daily Star reported.
The sources said that out of the total 11 million cubic meters to be pumped from the two water sources, part would be used for irrigation. But, according to the sources, the installation of water pipes carrying water from the Litani to a reservoir overlooking the village of Taibe will be put on hold.
Qabalan Qabalan, president of the Council of the South, has said that the water pumped from the Wazzani Springs is intended only for drinking. The Litani water project is supposed to provide irrigation water for the South. (Albawaba.com)
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