Building on the framework of three important elements — access, security and sustainability — this Transboundary Master Plan for the Lower Jordan River Basin seeks to integrate the disparate water management plans of Jordan, Israel and Palestine in an effort to produce a healthy ecosystem, distribute water fairly and provide open public access to the river.

The Jordan River is a nominee for the official World Heritage list. The downstream part of the river (Lower Jordan River) springs in the Sea of Galilee and winds 200 kilometres south through the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea. At present most of the water is drained off for agriculture and to supply drinking water. The river is seriously polluted due to the discharge of effluent and other contaminants.

In Winter 2012, Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) together with the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the Global Nature Fund (GNF) contracted Royal HaskoningDHV to prepare a definitive plan aimed at encouraging Jordanians, Israelis and Palestinians to jointly rehabilitate the Jordan River and restore the river basin’s ecology and hydrological functions.

Dr. Patrick Huntjens, Head of Water Diplomacy at The Hague Institute, has been contracted to lead the work on water governance and stakeholder participation. Dr. Huntjens, who has two decades of experience in more than 38 countries, will serve as the lead expert. He will be responsible for applying balanced and proven methodologies to ensure that the three core parties (Jordan, Israel and Palestine) remain involved throughout the coordination process.

A multidisciplinary team has gathered and will included experts from Jordan, Israel and Palestine and international experts on spatial planning, water management, ecology, agriculture, economics, sociology and water governance.

A copy of the plan will be available in Arabic, English and Hebrew at the end of 2014.

This project, an individual contract under the umbrella of the water diplomacy team at The Hague Institute, is funded by the European Union.