Royal HaskoningDHV delivered Master Plan for the Jordan Valley

Royal HaskoningDHV has delivered an integrated master plan for the Lower Jordan, the historic river between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The purpose of the cross-border master plan was to restore the water, environmental and socio-economic conditions of the Jordan Valley.

River Jordan

Read more about the thinking behind this crucial project in the blog of Royal HaskoningDHV’s Strategic Advisor Jeroen Kool or download the comprehensive summary of the master plan here. The Jordan River is a World Heritage List nominee. The downstream part of the river (Lower Jordan River) springs in the Sea of Galilee and winds for 200 kilometer through the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea. Over 300,000 Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians live on both sides of the Lower Jordan River. Most of the water has always been drained off for agriculture and for the supply of drinking water.

Almost the entire water inflow into the Lower Jordan River had been diverted; the river held about 2% of the river’s historic natural flow. Furthermore the river was heavily polluted by the inflow of untreated wastewater and salt water. This has had severe impacts on the river system itself, as well as to the area’s unique ecosystem and to the approximate 500 million migratory birds that used to migrate through the Jordan basin twice a year.

Trans boundary master plan

Friends of the Earth Middle East (www.foeme.org) awarded this contract to Royal HaskoningDHV together with the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the Global Nature Fund (GNF). Royal HaskoningDHV created the NGO master plans by developing and harmonizing national master plans into a single cohesive trans-boundary master plan that could be advanced in full or in part by the decision makers, both unilaterally at the national level and/or at the regional level. The Master Plan will be steered by principles of sustainable development including environmental flows provided through its natural resources; a healthy eco-system; equitable sharing of water resources; free public accessibility for all nationalities within an appropriate security framework; and a healthy economic development perspective.

Jeroen Kool, project manager for Royal HaskoningDHV, said: "The master plan has been used to encourage the Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians jointly to rehabilitate the river and to restore the river’s ecology and its hydrological functions."

Sustainable future for the valley and all inhabitants

The contract has been undertaken by deploying various disciplines. Dutch and Israeli experts of Royal HaskoningDHV co-operated with CORE Associates from Palestine and MASAR from Jordan as one team on the spatial planning, water management, ecological and economic aspects of the project. "We are very proud to have contributed to a sustainable future for the Jordan Valley and all its inhabitants", said Kool.