William M. Turner


The Ministry of National Infrastructures and the Ministry of Finance ( hereinafter " The Ministries" ) wish to set a list of suppliers capable of buying and\or loading drinking water in Manavgat - Turkey, transporting and discharging it in Israel, under the conditions specified in this request.

Suppliers that were interested in this project, were invited to provide the needed information to the Ministry of National Infrastructures.  This was in 2001

As a result of the water shortage in Israel, different ways to increase the water supply were evaluated, among others import of water from Manavgat - Turkey, in drinking water quality according to Israeli specifications and standards and according to public health regulations.

The ministried evaluated this scheme over the past two years.  This transaction will be based on the terms and conditions to be agreed upon in a common declaration, to be signed between the governments of Israel and Turkey.

The annual quantity of drinking water to be supplied to Israel by one or several suppliers will be 50 MCM, with an option to either increase the quantity by additional 40 MCM , or to reduce it to 25 MCM , according to advance notice.

As originally contemplated supply wcould be for a period of 5 years, starting on July 2001, with an option for an additional period, subject to a 12 month advance notice.

Negotiations took place for two years.  Shipping contractors initially balked at shipping the water because they could not guarantee quality on arrival. 

On April 26, 2001, those supporting the desalination alternative gained an upper hand with the commitment of the Sharon government to construct 33 desalination plants and funds for the construction of two desalination plants. Since then six plants have been authorized.  This decision was reached because of dangerously low water levels in major aquifers that is now causing salt water intrusion into the aquifers.


Water shortages that beset Israel two years ago do not seem quite as pressing today due to the nearly overwhelming rains this past winter.  The Sea of Galilee is filled to overflowing. 

However, on March 25, 2004, Israel finally signed the agreement to buy water from Turkey.  The contract is a 20-year contract in which Turkey will ship 40,500 (50 MCM) acre feet of water annual from Manavgat.  Price is still being negotiated and the water may be partly paid for in military hardware.  Jonathan Peled, spokesman for the Israel Foreign Ministry, said this landmark agreement turns water into an internationally accepted "commodity," 

In addition to this transaction when finally completed, Turkey plans to sell water to other countries including Malta and Cyprus.


On February 9, 2006, Veolia and its Israeli Partner announced full operation of the first desalination plant in Ashkelon.  The plant is designed to produce 330,000 cubic meters per day (268 acre feet).  This is adequate for a city of 1.4 million.  The complete production is purchased by the Israeli Government at a cost of 0.50 Euros per cubic meter.

WEBMASTERS NOTE:  This transaction in real terms represents the equivalent of about 125 ultra large crude carrier (ULCC) tankers per year or a completed shipment of two to three shipments a week.

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