Israel and Turkey Sign Landmark Water Accord
(August 6, 2002)
Israel and Turkey recently signed a groundbreaking agreement that will have Turkey export 1.75 billion cubic feet of water from its Manavgat River to Israel each year for the next 20 years.
While the Turkish water is expected to fulfill only about three percent of Israels needs during the 20-year period, it is Israels first water import agreement and a further expansion of burgeoning economic ties between the two countries. The deal, which will be worth $800 million to $1 billion, will create a new reality in the region, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said. I hope that Turkey will be the major supplier of water to the region.
Still at issue is the actual transporting of the water to Israel, which is expected to entail a high cost. Oil tankers will likely be used, but must first be refurbished to make them safe for hauling water.
The water-purchasing deal was signed August 6 during a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and visiting Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Zeki Cakan. The penning of the agreement was the end result of years of negotiations between the two nations to finalize the terms of the deal.
Source: Near East Report, (September 9, 2002)