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close this bookCentral Eurasian Water Crisis: Caspian, Aral, and Dead Seas (UNU, 1998, 203 pages)
close this folderPart IV: The Dead Sea
close this folder11. Alternative strategies in the inter-state regional development of the Jordan Rift Valley
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentCanal schemes for co-generation
View the documentThe Peace Drainage Canal scheme and eco-political decision-making
View the documentThe Aqaba hybrid scheme
View the documentTechno-political assessment of the Peace Drainage Canal and the Med/Red-Dead Sea canal
View the documentConclusion
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentReferences

(introduction...)

Masahiro Murakami

Introduction

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank will have depleted virtually all of their renewable sources of fresh water, if current patterns of consumption are not quickly and radically altered. As water shortages occur and full utilization is reached, water policies tend to be framed more and more in zero-sum terms, adding to the probability of discord.

Water conservation and management (including water-pricing scenarios) are essential confidence-building measures to manage the water resources in the region. In these circumstances, non-conventional strategic alternatives, including desalination and the re-use of treated waste water, will become increasingly and significantly important in water resources development to supply new additional fresh water in the twenty-first century.

Energy supplies are closely related to desalination and wastewater treatment for re-use because these treatments consume substantial amounts of electricity. Taking into account recent advances in membrane separation technologies, many countries in the Middle East are also trying to introduce large-scale desalination by the year 2000. Although this is likely to be dependent on low-energy types of reverse osmosis membrane, the energy cost will be 30-50 per cent of the total (Murakami, 1991,1995). Consequently, the potential use of off-peak electricity will be a key element in minimizing the cost of water management and operation.

The Jordan Valley, which includes the two inter-state regions of the Dead Sea and Aqaba, has become the focus of international cooperation and economic development for peace and confidence building in the aftermath of the "Declaration of Principles" between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on 13 September 1993 and the "Treaty of Peace" between Jordan and Israel on 26 October 1994. It is now possible to conceive of an integrated, stepwise regional development plan for the lower Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and Aqaba, including some new, non-conventional alternatives, given the limitations imposed by political frameworks and boundary conditions that exclude the two upstream riparian states of Syria and Lebanon. This chapter assesses three techno-political strategic alternatives to supply fresh and safe drinking water - canal schemes for co-generation, the lower Jordan Peace Drainage Canal, and the Aqaba hybrid sea-water pumped-storage scheme for co-generation - taking into account the incentives for eco-political decision-making, inter-state regional economic development, and the desire for peaceful cooperation.

Canal schemes for co-generation

The best aspects of two types of projects - the regional approach with emphasis on international economic cooperation, and the comparatively safe and clean energy applications of the Med-Dead (Mediterranean-Dead Sea; MDS) Canal or the Red-Dead (Red Sea-Dead Sea) Canal - might be combined, integrated with new co-generation technology, and expanded for a new hybrid project for water and power. The project could also be incorporated into a badly needed regional water development plan for the Middle East, in particular to supply fresh and safe drinking water in the region.

The core of the complex might be either a Med-Dead or a Red-Dead Canal (see fig. 11.1), with a new emphasis on reverse osmosis desalination fuelled by direct hydro-pressure in a topographical head difference. In contrast to earlier plans, which focused on power generation and unilateral development, a new approach would make available, in sparsely populated areas, power and water for fish ponds, industry, and even recreation on artificial lakes, to the benefit of populations from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Gaza, and the West Bank. The scope of the project could expand, depending on cost, financing, and which of the countries and territories of the region were to be involved; greater benefits would accrue with larger-scale involvement. Either way, the focus on water, rather than power, and an emphasis on cooperative regional development instead of unilateral benefits, could add both the economic and the political viability that earlier plans lacked.


Fig. 11.1 Map of Med/Red-Dead Sea canals and Peace Drainage Canal

The original Med-Dead salt-water canal would have been sited in a particularly favourable position to foster regional cooperation. The intake would have been located in or near the Gaza Strip, which is the site of some of the most squalid and densely populated refugee camps in the world, as well as of severe groundwater overdraft. The Canal itself would have run parallel to the Egyptian-Israeli border and then into the Negev and Sinai deserts. A Red-Dead route would provide similar opportunities for Jordanians and Israelis.

The Med-Dead route and the Red-Dead route would each face obvious obstacles in terms of political viability, as have all plans for regional cooperation. The Mediterranean (Gaza)-Dead Sea Canal was revived in the "Declaration of Principles" on 13 September 1993, in which the Annex on the Protocol on Israeli-Palestinian cooperation concerning regional development programmes suggests as a priority the techno-political project of the Med-Dead Canal.

Conceptual design

The 400 m drop at the Dead Sea could be used not only for hydropower generation but also for reverse osmosis desalination. This single pressure of 40-60 kg/cm2 would be directly used to convert sea water for drinking purposes at a reasonable treatment cost of less than US$1/m3. The topography and geology of the Red-Dead route do not favour the combination of hydropower generation with a reverse osmosis desalination plant in a single-pressure pipeline system that requires terminal end pressure of 40-60 kg/m2. The Med-Dead conduit route (Gaza-Masada), on the other hand, is ideal for adding a reverse osmosis desalination plant at the end of the pressure pipeline system on the existing design.

Co-generation refers to the use of waste heat from a conventional (oil or coal) energy-producing plant for the desalination of sea water. The co-generation scheme was first conceived to provide both hydroelectricity and fresh water from reverse osmosis sea-water desalination plants in the early 1980s (Glueckstern, 1982). The use of a part of the hydro potential to make reverse osmosis desalination cost-effective was shelved, however, owing to high costs and a poor understanding of membrane technologies at the time (WPDC, 1980, 1983).

Discussion of the MDS in the early 1980s might not have sufficiently emphasized the idea of shared resources and the benefit of joint development, given political limitations at the time. Indeed, until now, there had been no attempt at comprehensive development of the Jordan River system, which includes the linkage of MDS and the Al-Wuheda dam on the Yarmouk tributary. This new co-generation approach to the MDS scheme thus takes into account both recent innovative developments in membrane technology for reverse osmosis (RO) desalination, which aim to save energy and to make reverse osmosis desalination more cost-effective, and recent changes in the Middle East political situation following the Gulf War in March 1992, the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles in September 1993, and the Jordan-Israel Treaty of Peace in October 1994, which may make comprehensive basin development not only technically and financially feasible but politically desirable and, indeed, urgent.

Hydro-powered sea-water reverse osmosis desalination for co-generation would exploit the elevation difference of 400 m between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea (see figs. 11.1 and 11.2). The Dead Sea water level would be maintained at a steady-state level with some seasonal fluctuations of about 2 metres to sustain the seawater level between 402 m and 390.5 m below mean sealevel, during which inflow into the Dead Sea should balance evaporation.

The bilateral (or trilateral) development plan of the Israel/Palestine (Jordan) Mediterranean-Dead Sea conduit scheme (IJMDS) is a co-generation alternative that would combine a solar-hydro scheme with a hydro-powered sea-water reverse osmosis desalination plant as illustrated in fig. 11.2. The IJMDS scheme would have six major structural components:

- an upstream reservoir (the Mediterranean) at zero sealevel, with essentially an infinite amount of water,

- a sea-water carrier by tunnel, canal, and pipeline, with booster pumping station,

- an upper reservoir and surge shaft at the outlet of the sea-water carrier to allow or regulate the water flow,

- a storage-type hydroelectric unit capable of reverse operation to allow the system to work also as a pumped-storage unit, if required,

- a downstream reservoir (the Dead Sea), at a present surface elevation of approximately 400 m below sealevel,

- a hydro-powered reverse osmosis desalination plant, including a pre-treatment unit, a pressure control unit, the reverse osmosis unit, an energy recovery unit, a post-treatment unit, and regulating reservoirs for distribution.


Fig. 11.2 Schematic profile of MDS canal for co-generation (Note: a. pumped storage alternative)

The theoretical hydro potential to exploit the head difference between the Mediterranean Sea (=0 m) and Dead Sea (= -400 m) by diverting 56.7m3/sec. (1.6 billion m3 per year) of sea water is estimated to be 194 MW. The hydropower plant would produce 1.3 billion kWh per year of electricity with installed capacity of 495 MW assuming peak-power operation. These figures coincide with the plan of the Tahal consultancy company in 1981 (Tahal, 1982).

A booster pumping alternative could be applied to make an effective head difference of 500 m, taking into account the operating water pressure at 50 kg/cm2 and cheap electricity during off-peak periods. The sea-water diversion capacity is estimated to be 50 m3/sec., comprising 39 m3/sec. of intake water for the hydropower unit and 11 m3/sec. of feed water for the desalination unit.

The hydropower unit has a theoretical hydro potential of 160 MW, and it generates 1.2 billion kWh per year of electricity with installed capacity of 480 MW and operating at peak power for 8 hours a day. To produce 100 million cubic meters (MCM) per year of permeate (water filtered through a membrane), the installed capacity of the reverse osmosis plant is estimated to be 322,300 m3/day (with a load factor of 85 per cent; Murakami, 1991, 1993).

Marginal operation of the reverse osmosis system is designed to use the hydro-potential energy in a tunnel conduit (penstock) with 481.5 m of effective head of water for 16 hours a day off-peak (see fig. 11.3). The feedwater requirements to produce 100 MCM per year of permeate with 1,000 mg/litre of total dissolved solids (TDS) are estimated to be 333 MCM per year, assuming a 30 per cent recovery ratio. The brine reject of 233 MCM a year, whose salinity is 57,000 ma/litre of TDS, is then discharged into the Dead Sea (Murakami, 1991, 1993). The energy recovery potential from the brine reject is estimated to be 28,280 kW, assuming 20 per cent of friction loss in the reverse osmosis circuit.

The annual production of electricity from the reverse osmosis brine reject is estimated to be 168 million kWh with a load factor of 68 per cent. The recovered energy (electricity) will be used to supply electricity for the post-treatment process or other purposes to save electricity on the national grid.


Fig. 11.3 Marginal operation of pumped-storage and hydro-powered reverse osmosis desalination (Note: a. reverse osmosis desalination operating for 16 hours per day)

These estimates of hydra potential are based on conventional equations as shown below:

Pth = 9.8*Ws*Q*He (1)
P = Pth*Ef (2)
Pp = P*(24/8) (3)
Py = 365*24*Gf*P (4)
Per = 9.8*Ws*Qbr*He*(1 - Fro)*Ef, (5)

where

Pth = theoretical hydra potential (kW)
Ws = specific weight of feed water (= 1.03-1.05)
Q = flow discharge (m3/sec.)
He = effective head of water difference (m)
P = installed capacity (kW)
Ef = synthesized efficiency (= 0.85)
Pp = installed capacity for 8 hours a day of peak operation (kW)
Py = potential power generation (output) per year (kWh)
Gf = generating efficiency (= 0.85)
Per = installed capacity of energy recovery unit (kW)
Qbr = brine reject water from reverse osmosis membrane module (m3/sec.)
Fro = hydraulic friction loss in the reverse osmosis circuit (=0.2or20%)

Cost estimates

The project costs of the proposed reverse osmosis unit are preliminarily estimated to be US$389.4 million capital expenditure and US$44.4 million per year for operation and maintenance. The cost estimates are based on 1990 prices, assuming: a plant life of 20 years, a membrane life (replacement) of 3 years, 8 per cent interest during the three years of construction, the exclusion of cost benefits from energy recovery, and the exclusion of the costs of source water and pipeline/distribution (Murakami, 1991, 1993). The unit water cost of hydro-powered sea-water reverse osmosis desalination to produce 100 MCM/yr is estimated to be US$0.63/m3, which is reasonable when compared with international water tariffs and the estimated unit water cost of US$0.85-1.07/m3 in the "Peace Pipeline" project, and/or the estimated unit water cost of US$1.6/m3 by conventional reverse osmosis desalination using electricity to create pressure of 50-60 kg/cm2 (Murakami, 1991,1993).

The Peace Drainage Canal scheme and eco-political decision-making

The lower Jordan system (including the Dead Sea), which is shared by three riparians - Israel, Palestine (West Bank), and Jordan (East Bank) - will be an area of focus to demonstrate the willingness for peace through economic development. The "Peace Drainage Canal" (PDC) scheme, which would salvage brackish water, including saline spring water and irrigation return in the Jordan Valley, is proposed not only to protect the water quality of the lower Jordan mainstream but also to produce new fresh potable water (Murakami and Musiake, 1994). The PDC scheme would have an 85 km drainage canal along the lower Jordan River in either the West Bank or the East Bank, and a brackish water reverse osmosis desalination plant with an installed capacity of 200,000 m3 day at the terminal end of the canal system (fig. 11.4). The reverse osmosis desalination plant would convert useless or harmful saline waters into safe potable water at reasonable cost, taking into account incentives generated by ecopolitical decision-making to share the resources and benefits among the three riparians.

Conceptual design

The PDC scheme is being proposed to take into account the following six planning elements with eco-political decision-making initiatives:

1. Water environment. Freshwater quality and the ecosystem of the lower Jordan system would be conserved by diverting the harmful saline water that at present is being wasted in the mainstream, adversely affecting downstream users in Palestine (West Bank) and Jordan (East Bank).

2. Feedwater source. Brackish waters including saline spring water, base flow, and brackish groundwater in the Jordan Valley would be collected from the three riparian states. Israel would salvage saline spring water in Lake Tiberias and in and around Beit She'an. Palestine and Jordan would collect saline spring water, irrigation returnflow, deep percolation, saline groundwater in the shallow sandy aquifer, and brackish groundwater in the Jordan Rift Valley in the deep sandstone aquifer.

3. Joint water management. Diversion intake, infiltration pond, and a dual-purpose well system would be incorporated in a plan to salvage 50-100 MCM of residual winter flows in the lower Jordan system for joint use. The dual-purpose wells would mainly be sunk in the sandy shallow aquifer system. Tubewells that could pump 25-50 MCM per year of brackish groundwater from the deep sandstone aquifer system would be added to supply feed water during the dry season (fig. 11.5).

4. Drainage canal system and reverse osmosis plant. An 85 km drainage canal would collect saline water from Israel, the West Bank, and the East Bank. The canal route would run alongside the lower Jordan mainstream in either the West Bank or the East Bank. The reverse osmosis desalination plant, including a pre-treatment and post-treatment unit, would be installed at the end of the canal system.

5. Water pipeline system. A main waterpipe along the coast of the Dead Sea, to link the major towns of Suwayma, Qumran, Ein Gedi, Ein Bokek, and Al-Mazra'a, would be constructed to share the fresh potable water from the reverse osmosis plant among the three riparian states.

6. Wastewater treatment system and re-use. Wastewater treatment facilities in the major towns would be incorporated not only to re-use treated waste water for tree crops or garden irrigation but also to protect the clean water environment of the Dead Sea.


Fig. 11.4 The Jordan River system and the Peace Drainage Canal


Fig. 11.5 System flow diagram of the Peace Drainage Canal scheme (MCM) (Notes: PDC = Peace Drainage Canal, EGMC = East Ghor Main Canal, INWC = Israel National Water Carrier; a. brackish groundwater in shallow aquifer - summer period; b. brackish groundwater in deep aquifer - drought period; c. allocation of RO permeate in "Treaty of Peace," October 1994. Source: plans in "Treaty of Peace," October 1994, including Adashlya dam, Deganya Gate dam, and RO desalination plant in Israel)

Reverse osmosis desalination

The heart of the Peace Drainage Canal project is the reverse osmosis desalination plant to salvage brackish water. The treatment process includes three phases: pre-treatment, processing, and post-treatment.

Pre-treatment

Before being desalted, the water will pass through three pre-treatment steps to remove all solids that would quickly clog the expensive desalting membranes if they were not removed. Pre-treating the water will ensure a membrane life of three to five years. As the water flows into the plant, chlorine will be added to prevent the growth of algae and other organisms. The water will then go through a grit sedimentation basin to remove heavy grit, sediment, and suspended sands in the water. The water will also be softened by removing some of the calcium. Lime and ferric sulphate are both used in solid contact reactors. In the last step in the pre-treatment process, dual-media filters will be used to remove any fine particles or organisms remaining in the water.

Processing

Reverse osmosis is the separation of one component of a solution from another (in this case, salt from water) by means of pressure exerted on a semi-impermeable plastic membrane. A total of about 6,750 membrane elements inserted into fibreglass pressure vessels will desalt the water. Although the pressure tubes will all be 6 m (20 ft) in length, some membranes will have a diameter of 30 cm (12 in.), while the diameter of others will be 20 cm (8 in.). The element will be made up of a number of sheets rolled into a spiral-wound membrane. The separation of salt is a chemical process as well as a physical diffusion process. The water will be forced through the walls of cellulose acetate or synthesized membranes by applying pressure at about 15-25 kg/cm2, allowing only the freshly desalted water to pass through. This process will filtrate 75 per cent of the feed water and remove about 97 per cent of the salts from it. The fresh water will be forced by the downward pressure toward the centre tube.

Post-treatment and energy recovery

The water, with a salinity level of 300-500 mg per litre of TDS, will then be treated to make it safe for drinking in accordance with WHO standards. The water pressure in the brine reject (25 per cent of the feed water with 10,000 mg/litre salinity) will be used to generate electricity with a 1 MW mini hydropower plant at the end of the reverse osmosis module circuit. After retrieving energy of 6.4 million kWh per year, the brine will be directly released to the Dead Sea, where it will mix with this extremely saline water body (300,000 ma/litre of TDS).

Project costs and the unit water cost

The unit cost of the brackish-water reverse osmosis desalination, including the construction of an 85 km drainage canal, is roughly estimated to be US$0.48/m3. This includes the following four cost elements, assuming a construction period of three years for the reverse osmosis plant and an interest rate of 8 per cent:

- capital cost: US$211,518,000
- design and construction management: US$52,911,000
- financial expenditure: US$68,672,000
- annual operation and maintenance costs: US$20,551,000

The operation and maintenance costs of reverse osmosis desalination would likely be reduced by using less expensive off-peak electricity and by developing low-pressure, high-efficiency membrane modules.

The 75 MCM/yr of water produced from the reverse osmosis plant could be shared equitably among Israel, Palestine, and Jordan (see table 11.1). This water would be mainly used for municipal and industrial water supplies, with the aim of supplying fresh potable water exclusively to the major towns and cities along the shore of the Dead Sea. The Peace Drainage Canal scheme with a reverse osmosis desalination plant and water pipeline system should have the highest priority in a basin-wide master plan for an environmentally sound sustainable water development project to foster peaceful cooperation and regional economic development.

Table 11.1 Inter-state water allocation plans for the Jordan River system (MCM per year)

Proposed plan

Lebanon

Syria

Jordan

Palestine

Israel

Egypt

Total

Remarks

Main Plan (1953)


45

774


394


1,213


Arab Plan (1954)

35

132

698


182


1,047


Cotton Plan (1954)

451

30

575


1,290


2,346

including Litani diversion to Jordan

Johnston Plan (1955)

Hasbani River

35






35


Banias River

20






20


Jordan mainstream


22

100


375


497

Israel uses mainstream after Arab states use it

Yarmouk River


90

377


25


492


East Bank wadis



243




243


Total

35

132

720


400


1,287


Treaty of Peace (October 1994)

Yarmouk River (Adashiya)



25


45


70

Israel: 13 in summer, 33 in winter; Jordan: remainder

Jordan River (Deganya gate)



20


excess


50

Jordan: 20 in summer

RO desalination of saline springs in Israel



10


10


20


Integrated Joint Plan: Jordan-Palestine-Israel-(Egypt): M. Murakamia

Aqaba hybrid pumped-storageb

Water



34


33

33

100


Hydroelectricity (million kWh/yr)



500


500

500


1.5 billion kWh of electricity is shared by the three

MDS canal for co-generationc

Water



33

34

33


100


Hydroelectricity (million kWh/yr)



400

400

400



1.2 billion kWh is shared by the riparians with Gaza

Peace Drainage Canal with RO desalination



25

25

25


75

Brackish water desalination by RO

a. Simply assumes an equal allocation of water and electricity. b. Aqaba pumped-storage facilities with hydro-powered desalination plant are situated in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. c. The MDS canal has an retake in Gaza, a conduit in Gaza and Israel, a hydropower station with RO plant in Israel, and a hydro-solar reservoir (Dead Sea) in Jordan, Palestine, and Israel.

The Aqaba hybrid scheme

Construction of any new thermal or nuclear power station in the region would benefit from a pumped-storage scheme for efficient off-peak energy use. Hybrid water-energy co-generation is the application of sea-water pumped-storage with reverse osmosis desalination 1993; Murakami and Musiake, 1994). The Aqaba scheme (see fig. 11.6) would pump sea water during off-peak periods to store it in an upper reservoir at the top of an escarpment 600 m above sealevel. The stored sea water would be discharged into a penstock shaft to yield an effective water pressure of 60 kg/cm2 at the end of the pressure pipe system, simultaneously generating 600 MW of peak electricity and producing 100 MCM of fresh potable water (see fig. 11.7). Off-peak electricity to lift the sea water to 600 m above sealevel would be supplied not only from a steam power plant at Aqaba but also from steam power plants in either Egypt or Israel, or from other regional electricity grids.


Fig. 11.6 Aqaba regional development plan with hybrid sea-water pumped-storage scheme for co-generation

Conceptual design

The volume of sea water pumped for co-generation is estimated to be 50 m3/s, comprising 39 m3/sec. for peak power electricity generation and 11 m3/sec. of feed water for reverse osmosis desalination. The theoretical hydro potential to exploit the head difference of 600 m with 39 m3/sec. of pumped sea water is estimated to be 200 MW, assuming a specific weight of sea water of 1.03 and a synthesized efficiency of 0.85. The discharge and installed capacity of the hydropower plant are preliminarily estimated to be 116 m3/sec. and 600 MW, respectively, assuming 8 hours a day of marginal peak operation. The annual power output from the 600 MW plant would amount to 1.5 billion kWh with a generating efficiency of 0.85.

Marginal operation of the reverse osmosis system would make use of the hydro-potential energy in a penstock pipeline with 600 m of head difference for 16-24 hours a day. The feed sea-water requirements for producing 100 MCM of permeate per year (with 5001,000 mg/litre of TDS) are estimated to be 333 MCM, assuming a 30 per cent recovery ratio (70 per cent for brine reject water with 53,000 mg/litre of TDS). The installed capacity of the reverse osmosis unit is estimated to be 322,300 m3/d with a load factor of 85 per cent.

The potential energy recovery from the brine reject is estimated to be 29.5 MW, assuming 20 per cent of friction loss in the reverse osmosis circuit. The annual production of electricity from the reverse osmosis brine reject is estimated to be 175 million kWh with a load factor of 68 per cent. The brine would then be discharged into the Dead Sea (Murakami and Musiake, 1994). The recovered energy would be used to supply electricity for the post-treatment process or to other pumps to save electricity on the national grid.


Fig. 11.7 Schematic profile of the Aqaba hybrid sea-water pumped-storage scheme with reverse osmosis desalination

Table 11.2 The major cost elements of the Aqaba hybrid sea-water RO desalination unit (preliminary estimates in 1990 prices)

Major capital cost element (US$)

Pre-treatment

44,195,000

Desalting plant

70,414,000

RO membrane/equipment

84,835,000

Control and operating system

5,952,000

Appurtenant works

27,013,000

Powerline and substation

11,427,000

Energy recovery/turbinea

2,999,000

Sub-total

246,835,000

Design and construction management

62,250,000

Financial expenditure

80,270,000

Total

389,355,000

Major O&M cost element (US$/yr)

Labour

3,718,000

Material supply

1,860,000

Chemicals

7,440,000

Power (pumped-storage for RO feedwater/permeateb)

3,100,000

Membrane replacement

28,269,000

Total

44,387,000

a. Energy recovery unit generates electricity from brine reject water of 233 MCM.
b. Assuming US$0.02/kWh of off-peak electricity tariff for pumping 100 MCM.

Cost estimates and water economy

The cost of a unilateral 600 MW pumped-storage scheme is estimated to be US$1 billion at 1990 prices. The total investment cost of the proposed hydro-powered sea-water reverse osmosis desalination plant is preliminarily estimated to be US$389.4 million assuming: a plant life of 20 years, a membrane life (replacement) of 3 years, 8 per cent interest during the three years of construction, the exclusion of cost benefits from energy recovery, and the exclusion of the costs of source water and pipeline/distribution (Murakami, 1991, 1993). The annual costs are estimated to be US$18.6 million in financing the major capital cost element and US$44.4 million in operation and maintenance (O&M) elements, as shown in table 11.2.

Water economy is examined by comparing the unilateral pumped-storage scheme and the hybrid pumped-storage scheme with reverse osmosis desalination. The annual benefit of the hybrid scheme is 1.4 times greater than the unilateral scheme, assuming tariffs of US$0.1/kWh of peak electricity and US$1.0/m3 of fresh potable water. The cost and benefit elements are shown in table 11.3.

The unit water cost of hydro-powered sea-water reverse osmosis desalination, which assumes a shadow benefit of using 11 m3/sec. of feed water for the sole purpose of hydroelectricity generation, is estimated to be US$0.69/m3 (= 0.63+0.059). The economy of this method can be seen when it is compared with either US$1.6-2.7/m3 for conventional desalination such as reverse osmosis and multi-stage flush (Murakami 1991, 1995) or unilateral hydropower (see table 11.3).

Method of sharing resources and benefits

The Aqaba hybrid sea-water pumped-storage scheme for co-generation would include the following inter-state cooperation scenarios to share the resources and benefits:

1. An inter-state electricity grid or network that would include Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia is incorporated in the plan to transfer inexpensive night and morning off-peak electricity to the pumped-storage scheme (buying) and to deliver valuable day and evening peak electricity to neighbouring states (selling).

2. An inter-state water pipeline system connecting three states (Egypt, Israel, and Jordan) along the Aqaba coastline is constructed in order to share fresh potable water from the hydro-powered reverse osmosis desalination plant at Aqaba, Jordan.

3. An inter-state sanitation and water environment management programme, which includes treated wastewater recovery for tree crop and garden irrigation as well as for protecting the clean water environment of Aqaba bay, will be incorporated in the plan. The application of membrane separation technology, including microfilter and/or ultra-filter techniques, will also be adopted in the process of tertiary wastewater treatment for re-use for limited irrigation (Murakami and Musiake 1994; Murakami, 1995).

Fresh potable water amounting to 100 MCM per year from the Aqaba hydro-powered reverse osmosis desalination plant in the pumped-storage scheme could be shared among Jordan (Aqaba), Israel (Eilat), Egypt (Taba), and Saudi Arabia (Haq) in accordance with a possible agreement within the inter-state regional economic development programme (see fig. 11.6). The non-oil-producing state of Jordan, whose national economy is not as strong as those of Israel and Saudi Arabia, would have an exclusive chance to export 100 MCM per year of fresh, potable water. It would also be able to export valuable peak electricity as well as to import cheap off-peak electricity from Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. The Aqaba hydro-powered sea-water desalination plant would also save 17.5 MCM of fossil groundwater currently being pumped from the Disi aquifer to Aqaba for its municipal water supply (Murakami and Musiake, 1991).

Table 11.3 Cost and benefit elements between unilateral and co-generation schemes (assuming tariffs of US$0.1/kWh of peak electricity and US$1.0/m3 of potable fresh water)


Feed water

Electricity

Permeate

Output/Salea

Project cost

Annual cost element (US$m.)

Type

(MMC/sec)

(million kWh/yr)

(MMC/yr)

(US$m./yr)

(US$m.)

Capital

O&M

Total

Differenceb

Unilateral pumped-storage (for power generation only):

Hydroelectricity

50

1,482

148.2

1,000

50.0

10.0

60.0

88.2


Hybrid pumped-storage with hydro-powered RO desalination:

Hydroelectricity

39

1,156


139.6

905

39.0

10.0

49.0


RO desalination

11

175

100

100.0a

390

18.6

44.4

63.0


Total

50

1,331

100

239.6

1,295

57.6

54.4

112.0

127.6

a. Output/Sale does not include the benefit of energy recovery of 175 million kWh in the RO unit.
b Difference = (Annual output/sale - Annual cost in total).

Inter-state cooperation for joint development and use among the riparian parties (including Jordan, Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia) takes into account the following: efficient use and/or saving of energy or oil, with an initiative for global environment perspectives; a long-term flexible supply of peak electricity and fresh water; and fewer political constraints, with geo-political initiatives, incentives, and favours for Jordan. The pumped-storage facility would pump water up to a higher elevation for storage during off-peak hours and would simultaneously produce fresh water and hydroelectricity whenever demand peaked. This facility would be conceived for initial incorporation into the canal project. The hybrid sea-water pumped-storage scheme for co-generation is at the planning stage, but it will be important to spell out the coordination required, including international cooperation, in the next phase of projects that will also need innovative research including membrane separation technologies.

Techno-political assessment of the Peace Drainage Canal and the Med/Red-Dead Sea canal

The water budget of the Dead Sea indicates that a decrease of inflow from the Jordan River catchment would result in the additional introduction of Mediterranean water, thereby increasing the system's hydro-potential energy. Without the Med/Red-Dead Sea Canal project, the Dead Sea will continue to drop in level and shrink in size (see table 11.4). Although not much wildlife is being affected (except for bacteria, the Dead Sea is appropriately named), potash works and health resorts on both shores will continue to contend with the costs of an increasingly distant shoreline. One clear environmental benefit of the project would be the restoration of the Dead Sea to its historical level.

The Declaration of Principles between Israel and the PLO on 13 September 1993 would suggest that the best priority project is to connect the Mediterranean Sea (Gaze) and the Dead Sea by a series of canals and a tunnel conduit with a total length of 100 km. The original idea of the Med-Dead Sea (MDS) Canal scheme was conceived in a feasibility study by Israel in 1980 to elaborate the best alternative of 27 optional routes (WPDC, 1980). The trilateral economic committee (Jordan, Israel, and the World Bank) on the integrated development of the Jordan Valley elaborated some new ideas on the Red-Dead Sea Canal in 1994 (World Bank, 1994). Their canal route has a length of 200 km. The original idea was examined by Jordan in 1981 (JVA, 1981; WPDC, 1983). Either of these two strategic options would be a confidence-building measure in the Dead Sea region to supply peak hydroelectricity with or without a supply of fresh potable water by hydro-powered reverse osmosis desalination (Murakami, 1991, 1995; WPDC, 1989).

Table 11.4 Approximate water budget of the Dead Sea with non-conventional techno-political alternative schemes (MCM/yr)


Before 1948

After 1967

Plus MDS

Plus MDS+PDC

Ground elevation below sealevel (m)

-391a

-406

-391

-392

Surface area of the Dead Sea (km2)

1,000

900

1,000

1,000

Annual flow potential from the whole catchment

1,600

1,600

1,600

1,600

Inflow from catchment of the Jordan River

1,100

400

224b

211b

Inflow from catchment of the Dead Sea

500

400

223b

211b

Abstraction of flow from the whole catchment

nil

800

1,153b

1,178b

Evaporation from the Dead Sea surface

-1,600

-1,500



Evaporation after impounding sea water from Mediterranean



-1,900

- 1,900

Tailrace water from MDS hydropower station



1,220

1,220

Brine reject water from RO plant in MDS



233

233

Brine reject water from RO plant in PDC




25

Inflow potential from the whole catchment

1,600

800

447b

422b

Flow balance

0

-700

0

0

a. The historical equilibrium water level of the Dead Sea before 1930-1948 had been -391m. It will take several decades to fill up the Dead Sea to its historical equilibrium level with sea water at 1,600-2,000 MCM.

b. Some residual flows from the catchment that could be developed at future stages.

The reverse osmosis desalination in the Peace Drainage Canal scheme would also substantially reduce discharges into the Dead Sea. This could add 10 MW of hydro potential (60 million kWh per year of electricity) if the Med-Dead Canal or the Red-Dead Canal is incorporated in the integrated development plan.

A techno-political assessment of non-conventional strategic alternatives, comparing the implications of the "Treaty of Peace" before and after 26 October 1994, is shown in table 11.5 (Wolf and Murakami, 1994). The priority projects of the Peace Drainage Canal, the Aqaba hybrid sea-water pumped-storage scheme, and the MDS Canal for co-generation should be integrated into a strategic master plan for the development of the Jordan Rift Valley.

Conclusion

Inter-state regional economic development is considered to be a key element in sustaining the peace process in the region. The Peace Drainage Canal scheme should have the highest priority in the next phase of an international cooperation programme. This environmentally sound, non-conventional water development and management scheme not only takes into account the incentives for ecopolitical decision-making but also introduces the opportunity for inter-state regional economic development by adding fresh potable water of 75 MMC at a cost of US$0.48/m3.

In a broader context, Aqaba regional development using hybrid sea-water pumped storage for co-generation is possibly of even greater importance for economic development in the whole region because it includes initiatives, incentives, and favours for Jordan. Hydro-powered sea-water desalination in the hybrid pumped-storage system would simultaneously conserve fossil groundwater in Disi.

Table 11.5 Techno-political assessment for the Dead Sea and Aqaba schemes before and after the "Treaty of Peace" between Jordan and Israel of 26 October 1994


Technical feasibility


Economic feasibility








Environ-

Finan-

Bene-


Political

Overall

Techno-political alternatives

Quan-

Qual-

Relia-

Sub-

mental

cial

fit/

Sub-

feasi-

feasi


tity

ity

bility

total

feasibility

viability

cost

total

bility

bility

Weight (%)

12.5

5.0

7.5

25.0

25.0

12.5

12.5

25.0

25.0

100.0

After the "Treaty of Peace"

Lower Jordan River Peace Drainage Canal with RO desalination

31.0

66.0

62.0

47.3

55.8

61.0

61.0

61.0

69.0

58.3

Aqaba pumped-storage scheme with hydro- powered sea-water RO desalination

32.5

68.8

57.5

47.3

45.0

52.9

53.6

53.3

53.0

49.6

MDS hydro-solar development with hydro- powered sea-water RO desalination

40.0

72.5

60.

52.5

45.0

33.8

48.3

41.1

35.3

43.5

Dead Sea pumped-storage

15.0

30.0

60.0

31.5

40.0

53.3

40.0

46.7

46.7

41.2

Mediterranean-Dead Sea Canal, without RO desalination

23.8

31.3

61.3

36.6

22.5

36.3

30.0

33.2

38.5

32.7

Red-Dead Sea Canal, without RO desalination

21.3

30.0

28.8

25.3

22.5

33.8

30.0

31.9

44.2

31.0

Before the "Treaty of Peace"

Lower Jordan River Peace Drainage Canal with RO desalination

31.0

66.0

62.0

47.3

55.8

61.0

61.0

61.0

69.0

58.3

Aqaba pumped-storage scheme with hydro- powered sea-water RO desalination

32.5

68.8

57.5

47.3

26.3

370

375

37.3

24.0

33.7

MDS hydro-solar development with hydro-powered sea-water RO desalination

40.0

72.5

60.0

52.5

45.0

33.8

33.8

33.8

35.3

41.7

Dead Sea pumped-storage

15.0

30.0

60.0

31.5

40.0

53.3

40.0

46.7

46.7

41.2

Mediterranean-Dead Sea Canal, without RO desalination

23.8

31.3

61.3

36.6

22.5

36.3

30.0

33.2

38.5

32.7

Red-Dead Sea Canal, without RO desalination

21.3

30.0

28.8

25.3

22.5

33.8

30.0

31.9

31.0

27.7

Sources: before the "Treaty of Peace" - Wolf and Murakami (1994, Ref. 13); after the "Treaty of Peace" - some details on cost estimates and environment impact analysis were added by Murakami.

The unit water cost of hydro-powered reverse osmosis desalination is preliminarily estimated to be US$0.69/m3. Such a scheme would be even more competitive when compared with a single-purpose hydropower scheme such as Dead Sea pumped storage or Med/Red-Dead Sea Canal for power generation only. The new idea of a hybrid seawater pumped-storage scheme for co-generation at Aqaba will be carefully examined to compare its feasibility and benefits in relation to the other strategic options, including the Med/Red-Dead Canal.

The proposed co-generation schemes would have a flexible capacity to reallocate outputs and benefits in response to a long-term change in demand for water and peak electricity, thus introducing some incentives for peaceful cooperation and inter-state regional economic development. Once a canal system and reverse osmosis desalination plant were in place, even under different sovereignties, the incentive to connect two or three more states, later, in order to develop consequent ancillary projects could be powerful enough to induce ever-increasing cooperation. The riparians of the Dead Sea and Aqaba bay, including Israel, Palestine (West Bank), and Jordan (East Bank), would see the possibility of achieving comprehensive economic development and a lasting peace to share the region's resources and benefits.

Acknowledgements

I wish to express my deep appreciation to Prof. Katsumi Musiake of the University of Tokyo and Prof. Yuzo Akatsuka of Saitama University. Special thanks are due to Profs. Asit K. Biswas (chairman of the International Water Resources Association Committee on International Waters), John Kolars (University of Michigan), John Waterby (Princeton University), and Aaron T. Wolf (University of Alabama) for their guidance and invaluable advice. I am also grateful to Prof. Heitor Gurgulino De Souza and Dr. Juha Uitto of the United Nations University, who managed the strategic research project on water for peace and conflict resolution of the international waters in the Middle East, and to the staff of the World Bank, including Mr. Usaid El-Hambali, Mr. John S. Ijichi, Mr. Yo Kimura, Mr. John A. Hayward, Dr. Ulrich Kuffner, and Mr. Alexander MacPhail, for their comments and information.

References

Glueckstern, P. 1982. "Preliminary consideration of combining a large reverse osmosis plant with the Mediterranean-Dead Sea project." Desalination 40, pp. 143-156.

JVA (Jordan Valley Authority). 1981 "Potential for the development of hydropower between the Red Sea and Dead Sea." Harza Overseas Engineering Co., Ltd., Main Report.

Murakami, M. 1991. "Arid zone water resources planning study with applications of non-conventional alternatives." Ph.D thesis, University of Tokyo, Japan, December.

_____1993. "Hydro-powered reverse osmosis (RO) desalination for co-generation: A Middle East case study." Proceedings of the IDA and WRPC World Congress on Desalination and Water Treatment: Vol. II. Yokohama, Japan, pp. 37-44.

_____1995. Managing Water for Peace in the Middle East: Alternative Strategies. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.

Murakami, M. and K. Musiake. 1991. "Hydro-powered reverse osmosis (RO) desalination for co-generation." Proceedings of IWRA International Seminar on "Efficient Water Use", Mexico City, pp. 688-695.

_____1994. "Non-conventional water resources development alternatives to satisfy the water demand of 21st century." Proceedings of XIII IWRA World Congress on Water Resources, October, Cairo, Egypt. International Water Resources Association, vol. 1, pp. (T5-S1)2.1-19.

Tahal Israel. 1982. Dead Sea Power Station: Interim Report on Present State of Planning. Report prepared for the Mediterranean-Dead Sea Co.

Wolf, A. T. and M. Murakami. 1994. "Techno-political decision making for water resources development: The Jordan River watershed." Proceedings of XIII IWRA World Congress on Water Resources, October, Cairo, Egypt. International Water Resources Association, vol. 2, pp. (T5-S2)7.1-16.

World Bank. 1994. "Integrated Development of the Jordan Rift Valley." Draft, October, pp. 6-19.

WPDC (Water Power and Dam Construction). 1980. "Israel decides on canal route." International News, October, p. 4.

_____1983. "Jordan attacks Dead Sea project." International News, March, p. 4.

_____1989. "Dead Sea P-S scheme revived." World News, May, p. 3.