Quick Facts about the River

[For publications relevant to this project, click here]

ottoman bridge gesher
Clean water in the Jordan

Past: (Thousands of years ago – mid 20th Century)

  • An annual average of 1.3 billion cubic meters of water once flowed in the Lower Jordan River to the Dead Sea
  • Historic crossing point with commercial and cultural connections between major cities of the Valley

Present: (1962 – 2015)

  • 96% of the River’s waters diverted for domestic and agricultural use, by Israel, Syria and Jordan.
  • Untreated or poorly treated sewage, saline water and agricultural runoff dumped in the River from Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian communities
  • Diversion and pollution has caused an ecological collapse – more than 50 % of the valley’s biodiversity has been lost.
  • Most of the River Valley is a border / military area; off-limits to the public


  • EcoPeace scientific study undertaken recommends that 400-600 million cubic meters of water are needed to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan River
  • EcoPeace water economy research identifiednearly 1 billion cubic meters of water that can be saved in the region – part of which, from Israel and Jordan, can be utilized to meet the rehabilitation goal for the Lower Jordan River, and to restore Palestinian water rights
  • Large scale desalination takes place in Israel decreasing dependence on the Sea of Galilee as a fresh water source 

2013Change is finally beginning to take place:

  • Israel releases 9 million cubic meters of water from the Sea of Galilee into the Lower Jordan River, and has pledged to raise this amount to 30 million cubic meters in the near future
  • Pollutants beginning to be removed by 3 Waste Water Treatment Plants built in the River Valley (one in the Jordan Valley Regional Council in Israel, another one in North Shouneh in Jordan, and a treatment plant in Jericho in Palestine)

2015 and looking into the Future:

  • EcoPeace completes a 3-year research study and published the first-ever Integrated NGO Regional Master Plan for the Sustainable Development of the Jordan River Valley
  • The Master Plan suggests 127 “interventions” (projects) for the rehabilitation of the Jordan River Valley
  • Investments of $ 4.5 Billion USD are needed to implement these projects
  • $500 Million USD worth of projects identified as capable of moving forward immediately

Click here to read a new EcoPeace sign erected at the Alumot Dam that describes the situation of the Lower Jordan:  BETWEEN TWO DAMS: DEGANIA AND ALUMOT