Top urban news, trends and reports curated for the world’s city leaders. Edited by David Hatch

North American mayors to restore river in Middle East

Mayors from 114 U.S. and Canadian cities will raise funds and contribute technical savvy to rehabilitate the Jordan River, along the Israel-Jordan border. (Roman Sigaev/

Mayors from 114 North American cities have forged an unusual partnership to restore a river on another continent.

Laurie Balbo reports for Green Prophet that mayors from the United States and Canada plan to rehabilitate the Jordan River, a key lifeline for Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians.

The pact to clean up and revive the river was announced at last month’s Water After Borders summit in Chicago. The project is spearheaded in part by EcoPeace, an Amman-based non-governmental organization comprised of environmentalists from the three constituencies that rely on the river.

“The Jordan River Valley, a major freshwater source in a critically parched region, is under serious threat caused by decades of abuse,” Balbo writes. Jordan, Israel and Syria divert nearly 96 percent of its water for public consumption and crops, the article says. The river also has become a dumping ground for untreated sewage.

The mayors of Montreal, Toronto, Chicago and Detroit are among the city leaders who will help raise funds and contribute technical expertise, the article says. 

Green Prophet

More from Citiscope

Latest Commentary