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Project Jordan River Rehabilitation

The Jordan River once carried an average of 1.3 billion m3 of fresh water to the Dead Sea annually. Today this figure has been reduced to just 20 - 30 million m3 per year due to the diversion of 98% of the River's flow by Israel, Jordan and Syria. Diverting the fresh water flow of the Jordan River tributaries has devastated the Dead Sea and its environs and transformed the culturally and historically important Jordan River into little more than an open channel of agricultural run-off, diverted saline waters and untreated sewage. 

The Jordan River Rehabilitation Project is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Goldman Fund, the Global Nature Fund / Ursula Merz Foundation and the Green Environment Fund.

Click here for the above project description in HEBREW and ARABIC, or this above description in a PDF flyer version.

Click here for a power point presentation on the project.

Click here for a Hebrew summary of the project's Environmental Flows and Economic Analysis of Policy Options for Water Conservation studies.

Project number n/a
Geographical coverage Jordan, Israel, Palestine,
Budget (in €) 0
Programme Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME)
Web site

The primary goal of this project is to both identify the means by which water transfers to the Lower Jordan River could take place and help create the political will to make them happen. Mobilizing visionary leaders and good will champions from Jordan, Israel and Palestine to develop a dialogue and achieve concrete steps towards restoring the Jordan River will provide new opportunities for improved livelihoods of over 300,000 residents of the Jordan Valley, Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli. This will be a significant contribution to develop understanding and a collaborative mechanism to manage common natural resources such as water in the Jordan Valley.

Having led the efforts to date for the river's rehabilitation, FoEME understands that a regional approach, that brings all sides to act together, is a pre-requisite for gaining the political support for the flow of fresh water back to the river.


Primary Project Outputs
1) Identify the environmental flow level required to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan.
2) Identify the existing barriers that prevent national water reform policies.
3) Conduct a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) to identify existing and possible opportunities ("wedges") to transfer fresh water resources to the river from the Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian water economy at large, looking specifically at the agricultural, domestic and industrial water sectors.
4) Develop and implement a Strategic Action Plan (SAP) in partnership with decision makers in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. The SAP will aim to advance support for the implementation of policy to address each "wedge" identified in the study.
5) Develop an international campaign to raise awareness on the state of the Lower Jordan River and the need for reform of regional water management.

The "wedges" concept is a strategic tool developed to breakdown large complicated problems into more isolated and manageable "wedges". This concept is applied to the Jordan River Rehabilitation Project during the Tranboundary Diagnosis Analysis. The tool can help researchers and policy makers alike identify the percentage of water that could be saved in each sector of the water economy in each country that could be transferred back to the River Jordan. 

The project will therefore seek to identify sufficient "wedges" that in total will highlight to decision makers, the media and the general public that there are realistic economic and environmental options available to allow water to flow back into the Lower Jordan, if only there was the political will to do so.


For FoEME publications relevant to this project Click here


For more information contact:

  • Elizabeth Ya'ari, Israeli ; Project Coordinator at
  • Baha Afaneh, Jordanian ; Project Coordinator at
  • Mansour Bader, Palestinian ; Project Coordinator at

Period [01/01/2009 - 31/12/2010]