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Why Israel is likely to accept Jordan’s request for more water

Experts estimate it is in Israel’s national interest to accept Jordan's request to extend the water supply agreement.
The Wadi Mujib river in Jordan.

The recent Jordanian request to prolong the agreement with Israel for the import of 100 million cubic meters of water reflects Amman’s pragmatic approach to its foreign policy, particularly regarding its peace treaty with Israel. 

The request was first noted in reports by Israeli media on Sunday. 

Jordan suffers from severe water scarcity, accompanied by frequent periods of drought. According to the US International Trade Administration, only 90 cubic meters of water is available for consumption per person annually in Jordan. Studies expect this share to continue to decline, to reach 60 cubic meters annually by 2040. Jordan's two main water resources are the Jordan River and the Yarmouk River, which it shares with Israel and Syria, respectively. 

The 1994 peace treaty signed with Israel stipulates that Jordan can purchase every year 50 million cubic meters of water. Still, this quantity is far from being sufficient for Jordan's fast-growing population. As such, Israel has increased the amount of water exported to Jordan several times in the past three decades, especially in the past three years when it doubled on two occasions the quantity up to 100 million cubic meters of water. The last such agreement expires in May 2024.

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