Unique in its natural and cultural wealth, the Jordan River is presently threatened by excessive water diversion, pollution and inappropriate development.
Of the 1.3 billion cubic meters of water that would naturally flow down the River Jordan to the Dead Sea each year, 96% is diverted for domestic and agricultural uses.
A regional integrated approach to water management issues in the Lower Jordan River Valley is desperately needed to repair and restore the once “mighty” river.
The Water & Environmental Development Organization / EcoPeace Middle East, together with consortium partners, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and Global Nature Fund (GNF) came together in 2012 to produce the “Regional NGO Master Plan: A Vision for the Lower Jordan River”, the first ever trans-boundary integrated master plan for the Jordan River.
The Regional NGO Master Plan: A Vision for the Lower Jordan River:
– Is a comprehensive master planning programme to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan River and its tributaries.
– Determines coordinated regional flow regimes, sets water quality standards, identifies solutions to treat all pollution sources, launches restoration and preservation programs, establishes ecological corridors, and identifies opportunities to expand ecotourism infrastructures in the Jordan Valley including the preparation of regional heritage routes.
– The Israeli government launched a process to prepare a master plan for the Israeli section of the Lower Jordan River. See details below.
– The EcoPeace Master Plan developed complementary plans for the Palestinian and Jordanian sections of the Lower Jordan to produce the first ever comprehensive regional master plan for the Lower Jordan.
The Master Plan was developed around 7 strategic planning objectives:
1. Pollution Control
2. Sustainable Water Management and River Rehabilitation
3. Sustainable Agriculture
4. Jordan River Basin Governance
5. Ecological Rehabilitation
6. Sustainable Tourism and Cultural Heritage Development
7. Urban and Infrastructure Development
Click here for the full REGIONAL NGO MASTER PLAN
The Master Plan also identifies 127 specific regional and national “interventions” (projects) in relation to the above mentioned strategic planning objectives, with a total investment value of 4.58 billion USD until the year 2050.
Click here for the REGIONAL NGO MASTER PLAN ANNEXES (“Interventions”)
For an overview presentation about the Regional NGO Master Plan please click here.
For a full review of the June 9-10, 2015 CONFERENCE in Jordan where the Master Plan was released, click here.
Israeli Master Plan Developments:
The Kinneret Drainage Authority has completed a master plan for the section of the Lower Jordan River from the Kinneret/ Sea of Galilee to Nahayrim. For more information on this plan please see this detailed presentation
Currently the Israeli Lower Jordan River Drainage Authority is undertaking the development of a master plan of a stretch of the Lower Jordan River from Naharyim to Bezeq Stream. This plan will be aligned with a separate Israeli Master Plan already completed from Degania Dam (where the Lower Jordan exits the Sea of Galilee) to Naharyim.
Further details about the Israeli master planning process currently under way is available (in Hebrew) on the Israeli Lower Jordan River Drainage Authorities website including a detailed presentation on the work plan and the summary of a public meeting held on April 30, 2012.
Challenges and Opportunities associated with the Sustainable Development of the Lower Jordan River Valley – by Nancy Haddaden and Samar Talozi
The Jordan River Master Plan project was supported by the European Union’s Sustainable Water Integrated Management (SWIM) Programme.
Click here for a video produced by the EU on the overall SWIM programme
(EcoPeace’s NGO Master Plan project is featured in minute 08:33)
Click here for the Arabic version of the video