COGAT Signs Agreement with the Palestinian Authority to renew the Joint Water Committee

 

On January 15, 2017 the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Yoav (Poly) Mordechai, signed an agreement renewing the activity of the Joint Water Committee with the Minister of Civil Affairs in the Palestinian Authority, Hussein al-Sheikh, in participation with the Israeli Head of the Water Authority, Mr. Moshe Garazi and the PA's head of the Water Authority Mazen Jenim.

The agreement is intended to establish a framework in order to reconvene the Joint Water Committee under the Interim Agreement, in order to improve and modernize the water infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, which are essential to the welfare of populations in the region.

 

Following the agreement, the Joint Water Committee will reconvene after abstaining from assemblance on a regular basis for six years. The committee will discuss the allocation of additional water in Judea & Samaria and the Gaza Strip, the increase of water resources through new drilling, environmental issues, water tariffs, the utilization of recycled water in agriculture and the promotion of hydrological issues. The agreement will allow the installation of new pipelines for water, sewage and treated wastewater systems more quickly and efficiently.

As a result of the agreement, there have been rapid advancements in new projects, such as incorporating new water lines to increase the capacity of water flow since existing lines have reached their peak, in addition to other projects promoted in the field. The committee will deal with all aspects of coordination for shared water reservoirs, because of the necessary preparations for the coming summer months, during which the demand for water will outgrow the supply and water flow will become strained. Meanwhile, the parties currently working to formulate a strategic long term plan up until 2040, respectively, have taken into account the expected growth of the population in the region.

 

Convening commission of the committee will allow the rapid advancement of dozens of projects, among other initiatives to be examined in the near future in Judea and Samaria.

 The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai stated, "Signing the water agreement proves that you can reach agreements and understandings when you discuss matters in a substantive, bilateral manner, that is clean of foreign considerations when it concerns matters of natural resources and other infrastructural issues that affect the entire population. In the last year and half, we signed four agreements for: electricity, water, postal services and 3G infrastructure in telecommunications, which are designed to improve the welfare of the entire population in the region.".