(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The World Bank will hold public consultation meetings on the draft reports of the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Study Programme in October, according to an official at the international organisation.
Alexander McPhail, the study programme's team leader, said six public consultation meetings will be held in Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, noting that two of the meetings will be in the Kingdom.
McPhail added that the aim of the meetings is to receive feedback and suggestions from stakeholders on the draft results and preliminary findings of the study programme.
"The purpose of the public meetings is to discuss with interested stakeholders the draft findings from each report and to solicit comments on what the reports say. Comments from the public meetings will be used to finalise all the draft reports," he told The Jordan Times via e-mail.
The study programme involves the preparation of five interrelated studies: a feasibility study, an environmental and social assessment, a study of alternatives (which examines other options available to the beneficiary parties to address the degradation of the Dead Sea and the production of additional potable water by means other than the identified water conveyance option), a Red Sea modelling study and a Dead Sea modelling study.
"Each of these studies is in draft, none of them are finalised. The latest version of the feasibility study, environmental and social assessment study and the study of alternatives are now almost complete," McPhail said.
He noted that drafts of the three studies will be posted on the study programme website (www.worldbank.org/rds) by the first week in September.
"The two modelling study drafts are already on the website. The first three studies will be posted to the website in Arabic, English and Hebrew," the World Bank consultant noted.
The studies, which are led by the World Bank and implemented by international consulting companies and panels of experts in various fields, aim at giving decision makers in Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority a "technical basis for a decision on whether or not to go ahead with a project" therefore, the studies do not make a recommendation as to whether or not a project should go forward", McPhail said.
The Red Sea-Dead Sea project is part of international efforts to save the Dead Sea, which has been shrinking at the rate of one metre per year, largely due to the diversion of water from the Jordan River for agricultural and industrial use.