Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have unveiled plans to build a pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.
Officials from all the parties are due to sign an agreement today which will see the production of millions of cubic metres of drinking water for the arid region around the Dead Sea.
Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation, Silvan Shalom, said: “We’re talking about a historic process that realises a dream of many years.
“We have here strategic cooperation of national significance between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.”
Mr Shalom will be joined by Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation, Hazem Nasser, and Palestinian Authority Minister for Water, Shaddad Attili, for an official signing ceremony at the World Bank in Washington.
The proposed sea canal, known as the Red-Dead project, will take four to five years to build, and is predicted to cost between $250 million and $400 million.
Funding will come from the World Bank, with further donations from countries and philanthropists.
It is expected that every year 200 million cubic metres of Red Sea water will be pumped at the southern tip of Israel, and a plant in Jordan will turn it into drinking water.
Israel will receive between 30 to 50 million cubic metres of water for Eilat and communities in the parched Arava region, while Jordan is expected to use 30 million cubic meters for its own southern areas.
An additional 100 million cubic metres will be piped north to the Dead Sea, to replenish the lake where water levels have decreased in the last decade.
Israel will also pump 50 million cubic metres of fresh water from the Sea of Galilee to Jordan’s northern regions and 30 million cubic meters to the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank.