In the Pipeline

Israeli Bypass Water Project in the Jordan Valley

This update examines the construction of a bypass water pipeline on the lands of the Palestinian village of Bardala in the northern Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank.

The Bardala bypass project will transport freshwater extracted from occupied Palestinian water sources to nearby Israeli settlements, bypassing Palestinian communities. Palestinians have no independent access to the water sources in question. The project, advanced by Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, is a mechanism for consolidating Israel’s hold over Palestinian land and natural resources. Its route and raison d'être further entrench Israel’s occupation, benefitting the illegal settlement enterprise at the expense of Palestinian communities. The project’s execution is made possible due to the involvement of Israeli and international private corporations, including the German Herrenknecht AG and the US-based CETCO Mineral Technology.

Control over water resources is of great geopolitical importance, especially in the context of prolonged occupation. Exploitation of Palestinian and Syrian water resources by the occupying power has contributed to the expansion of settlement agricultural production. At the same time, occupied communities are denied the right to control water and other natural resources, resulting in intense economic de-development.