Israel in Focus – The Drought & Political Tensions

Work is expected to begin this year on the long-awaited Red Sea to Dead Sea Canal project, a project aimed at initially providing a more than 84.5 billion gallons of drinkable water a year to Israel and Jordan. The amount of drinkable water provided by the desalinization plants of this canal would eventually be increased to 224.5 billion gallons of drinkable water.

However, Israel & Jordan are not on the best of terms since the tensions this past summer led to the closing of the Israeli embassy in Jordan, which has yet to be reopened. Although the original agreement between Jordan and Israel was to begin construction on this much needed canal within the first few months of 2018, these plans hinge on a level of cooperation between Israel and Jordan that is currently in question.

The pipeline is expected to be completed in 2021. Jordan is estimating that it will have a shortage of 106 million gallons of water by 2022 unless the canal is finished on schedule. Even with the canal Jordan will be short on water and in the Middle East, water shortages equal a risk of war. The canal is a giant step towards peace between Jordan and Israel, but may only be a bandaid as the continued drought along with population growth in the region continues to increase the strain on the water supply.

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