From: Associated Press
Published July 4, 2006 12:00 AM

Jordan Asks Syria for 15 Million Cubic Meters of Water

AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan has asked Syria for 15 million cubic meters (19.62 million cubic yards) of water from the Yarmouk River to help the kingdom overcome the summer shortfall, the water and irrigation minister said Monday.

Mohammed Thafer al-Alem told reporters that a technical committee will meet in the coming days to find a mechanism to pump water into to Jordan.

In remarks carried by the official Petra news agency, Al-Alem said that according to an agreement with Syria, the Yarmouk's waters must flow during the summer season.

The Yarmouk, which has its headwaters in Syria, is Jordan's most important source of water. The Jordan River and wells are its other sources.

Al-Alem contended that dams and wells in Syria were impinging on Jordan's share of the river's waters. He predicted that unless Syria's water use patterns change the river could dry up.

The minister did not say wheter Syria had agreed to meet the request.

Under an agreement with Syria, Jordan has the right to 211 million cubic meters (275.98 cubic yards) of water at the Wihda Dam, currently under construction along their shared border, and 206 million cubic meters (269.44 cubic yards) from the waters flowing in the riverbed before the dam.

Jordan's relations with Syria were strained this spring when it discovered a cache of weapons belonging to the Palestinian militant group Hamas whose political leadership is based in Damascus.

Source: Associated Press

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