NEW YORK (Jul. 11)
American Jews have contributed “a good part” of the more than $30,000,000 spent of the Yarkon irrigation project which will officially open next week with special ceremonies near Nirim, southern terminus of the pipeline in the Negev, it was announced here today by the Israel Bond Organization. The contribution of U.S. Jewry was made through the purchase of Israel bonds, the statement said.
Begun in 1952, the completed pipeline represents the first leg of a twin project and will bring the waters of the Yarkon River to the western part of the desert-like Negev region. The second pipeline, now half-completed, will carry the Yarkon water to the eastern Negev, near Beersheba. Implementing Israel’s objective of fuller utilization of the country’s available water resources, the new pipeline will divert the water of the Yarkon River, which empties into the Mediterranean, north of Tel Aviv. Approximately 66 miles long, the pipeline will produce 1.3 millions gallons of water per hour.
The opening of the newly-irrigated area of more than 50,000 acres will yield crops estimated at $25,000,000 a year. With the completion of the second pipeline by 1958, both the irrigated acreage and the estimated crop yield will be doubled. The Yarkon-Negev project will serve to open for settlement areas of the country until now considered barren and desolate. According to present blueprints, 30 new villages will be settled along the pipeline routes during the next two or three years.
“One of the significant factors in the successful completion of the vital irrigation line was the construction with the help of Israel bond funds of the huge pre-stressed concrete pipes at Yuval Gad near Ashkelon,” the statement of the bond organization stressed. “More than 45,000 concrete pipe sections have been used in the Yarkon-Negev project thus far, each section being 66 inches in diameter, 16 feet long and weighing over ten tons.”