Master plan to help clean up Jordan River Basin

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Dutch project management, consultancy and engineering services provider Royal HaskoningDHV has been contracted to produce a master plan for the Lower Jordan, the historical river between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.

The purpose of the cross-border master plan is to integrate separate Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian plans and thus produce a healthy ecosystem, distribute water fairly and provide open public access to the river. The master plan will be available in Arabic, English and Hebrew at the start of 2014.

Friends of the Earth Middle East awarded this contract to Royal HaskoningDHV together with the Stockholm International Water Institute and the Global Nature Fund.

The downstream part of the river (Lower Jordan River) springs in the Sea of Galilee and winds 200 kilometres through the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea. At present most of the water is drained off for agriculture and for the supply of drinking water. The river is seriously polluted due to the discharge of effluent and other contaminants.

Dutch and Israeli experts from Royal HaskoningDHV will work as consortium members on the spatial planning, water management, ecological and economic aspects of the project. Other consortium partners are local engineering firms in Jordan and Palestine.

Jeroen Kool, project manager for Royal HaskoningDHV, said: “The master plan will be used to encourage the Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians jointly to rehabilitate the river and to restore the river’s ecology and its hydrological functions. Important matters are the creation of free access, good security conditions and a healthy economic basis.”

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