The Struggle for Water 1950–1967

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Map Code: Ax01289

With the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, much of the regional water supply sourced from the River Jordan and Lake Tiberias came under dispute, as the large influx of people to Israel massively increased demand for water. The especially high salinity of the Dead Sea, along with other water sources in the region, means that water in the north of the River Jordan basin is highly sought after. In 1953 Israel began construction of its National Water Carrier, a canal which would re-route water from Lake Tiberias for irrigation of farmland and to supply its southern urban areas. Jordan’s East Ghor canal, begun in 1959, ran parallel to the east bank of the River Jordan. In January 1964, the Arab countries agreed to a project to divert the headwaters of the Jordan, reducing the water supply to Israel’s National Water Carrier by 35 per cent, which led to a series of armed confrontations.

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