Syria has agreed to supply Jordan with two million cubic meters (mcm) of water this summer from the Yarmouk basin to boost the kingdom's scarce water resources, Jordan’s Water Minister Hazem Nasser announced on Wednesday.
The minister said Syria would begin supplying the amount as of July 14 during a ceremony in the area of Sahm Golan.
In 1999, Jordan received 8mcm of water from Syria, according to the Jordan Times. The amount dropped to 3.5mcm last year.
Saddled with a chronic water deficit, Jordan, a largely desert country, mainly relies on rain to meet its water needs.
This year, Jordan is facing a 50 per cent water deficit. An 80 per cent drop in the Yarmouk River's flow was caused by last winter's poor rain, according to Nasser. The flow dropped from 250,000 cubic meters per day to 43,000 cubic meters.
Jordan has often complained that it is only getting a fraction of its water-sharing agreement with Syria, as the latter has set up more than 30 ditches and pumping facilities to store water along the Yarmouk.
The 1987 water agreement set the permissible number of Syrian ditches on the Yarmouk River at 25.
In April, both countries agreed to stop the allocation of Yarmouk River water to summer crops in the river's basin area on both sides of the border to reduce the depletion of water resources.
Also, as part of the agreement, the two neighbors agreed to construct the Wihdeh Dam, which is expected to supply Jordan with an additional 110mcm of water annually and generate energy for Syria – Albawaba.com
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