Royal Haskoning DHV has been assigned to produce a master plan for the Lower Jordan, the historical river between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.

Dr. Patrick Huntjens (Water Partner Foundation) has been contracted for this prestigious project as Key Expert Water Governance and Stakeholder Participation Manager. He is responsible for applying balanced and proved methodologies to ensure that the three core parties (Palestine, Jordan, Israel) will remain involved throughout the planning process. Dr. Huntjens is responsible for all tasks related to policy advice, participatory planning and institutional frameworks.

The purpose of the cross-border master plan is to integrate separate Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian plans and thus produce a healthy ecosystem, distribute water fairly and provide open public access to the river. The master plan will be available in Arabic, English and Hebrew at the start of 2014.

The Jordan River is a nominee for the official World Heritage list. The downstream part of the river (Lower Jordan River) springs in the Sea of Galilee and winds 200 kilometres through the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea. At present most of the water is drained off for agriculture and for the supply of drinking water. The river is seriously polluted due to the discharge of effluent and other contaminants.

Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) together with the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the Global Nature Fund (GNF) awarded this contract to Royal HaskoningDHV to prepare a master plan will be used to encourage the Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians jointly to rehabilitate the river and to restore the river’s ecology and its hydrological functions.

Important matters are the creation of free access, good security conditions and a healthy economic basis.'

The contract will be undertaken by deploying various disciplines including spatial planning, water management, ecology, economics and water governance.

Jordan River – Baptism Site

We were asked to help produce the total plan for this cross-border basin because of our familiarity with the region and the experience we gained in drawing up the Israeli master plan for the area,' according to Jeroen Kool, project manager for the master plan.