JERUSALEM – Today, the United States government announced a $10 million USAID investment to increase Palestinian access to agricultural water by expanding the Jericho wastewater collection system to an additional 10,000 residents. The new water lines will expand the existing pipes installed by USAID in 2015 to connect a total of 70% of Jericho residents to the Japanese-supported Jericho wastewater treatment plant. Not only does this increase critical water resources available to Palestinian date farmers, it is vital to protecting the environment and safeguarding public health. Presiding over the launch event was Jason Greenblatt, the U.S. President’s Special Representative for International Negotiations.
In his remarks, U.S. Consul General Donald Blome said, “Every drop of water produced by this facility is reused by local farms. I met today with farmers whose lives have been transformed thanks to access to high quality water coming from this Jericho plant. These thriving rows of date palms create jobs and bring revenue to Palestinian families.”
This investment, coupled with a new public-private partnership in irrigation technology, demonstrates USAID’s comprehensive approach to addressing the water crisis in Jericho by increasing the availability of water resources to farmers while decreasing quantities required through drip irrigation technology.
Since 2000, USAID has invested more than $450 million toward water and wastewater projects in the West Bank and Gaza. This includes connecting 153,500 Palestinians to running water for the first time and providing improved access to clean water to more than 1.4 million people. These investments advance the United States’ commitment to developing wastewater solutions to improve the daily lives of Palestinians and enhance the prospects for lasting peace.