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Water in Israel: Israel-Turkey Water Cooperation

(Updated July 2015)

In January 2000, Turkey and Israel signed a deal to that allowed Israel to purchase up to 50 million cubic meters of Turkish water annually over the next decade. The water, from the Manavgat River, would be transported to Israel's Askhelon port by ships. The water agreement should help Israel cover rougly five percent of its annual water needs.

In August 2002, the two countries built on their initial water agreement by signing a groundbreaking deal 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.

The deal, which will be worth approximately $800 million “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.”

The water deal was signed during a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and visiting Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Zeki Cakan.

In March 2004, Israel signed yet another deal with Turkey to buy 50 million cubic meters of water each year for the next two decades. The agreement was due to be implemented in 2006, but was put on hold due to the need to use the tankers and pipelines for the project to ship oil, and was eventually abandoned alltogether.

Sources: Yildiz, Dursin. “International Water Transfer Projects of Turkey,” Hydropolitic Academy, (June 2, 2014)
Near East Report (September 9, 2002);
Jerusalem Post (March 4, 2004);
Jerusalem Post
(January 29, 2000)