TEL AVIV (Jul. 15)
The United States has officially advised Israel against premature consideration of an ambitious Jordan Valley Authority project which calls for the harnessing of the river Jordan for irrigation and power purposes, it was learned here today.
Speculation over J.V.A. prospects was aroused by announcement of the impending visit from the United States of John L. Savage, designer of the Boulder and Grand Coulee dams. Mr. Savage’s visit, the purpose of which is to advise the Israeli Government on irrigation problems, has been generally interpreted here as a preliminary step toward the inauguration of a large-scale water project.
United States officials, however, feel that it is too soon for Israel to start expending money on this major undertaking, it was indicated. The J.V.A. would require cooperation from both Syria and Transjordan and, as yet, there is no indication of a lasting peace settlement between those two Arab countries and the Jewish state. Moreover, the J.V.A. project would require an immense outlay of funds and, if attempted, should only be undertaken as an international project designed to aid both the Arabs and the Jews, according to U.S. observers.
The proposition is also put forward that the original J.V.A.–as conceived ten years ago–may have to be scaled down. Some experts now believe that the amount of water made available by the proposed project would be too small in relation to its cost. All these views have been made known to Israeli authorities by U.S. officials here.