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Jordanian water minister Mousa Jamani on Thursday said political action is needed to resolve persistent Syrian violations of a water-sharing agreement concerning exploitation of the Yarmouk River, which forms a boundary between the two countries for nearly 40 km. “Cultivation on the Syrian side of the river is consuming more than the allocated amount because pumps and pipelines are extended to irrigate farms that are not along the riverbank,” Jamani noted.
Jordan and Syria signed an agreement in 1987 to regulate water sharing between them. Jamani noted that since the agreement was signed, the number of Syrian dams increased from 26 to 48, while 3,500 wells were drilled to pump water from the river basin. “The underground water in the basin is the source of the springs that feed the Yarmouk River. The more wells are drilled, the less water flows,” he said. Until the 1960s, the Yarmouk River’s flow used to reach 16 cubic meters per second, but has since dropped to one cubic meter per second. (Hana Namrouqa Jordan Times)

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