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The Fifth Water System to Jerusalem

Against the backdrop of the continued growth in the population of the Jerusalem metropolitan area, the water supply system to the Capital is rapidly approaching maximum output capacity, expected to be reached within a few short years. In order to prevent a water shortage in the area, an additional 100" water pipeline to Jerusalem has been planned – the fifth pipeline.

 

EMS Mekorot Projects is playing an important part in laying the pipeline to the Capital and constructing booster stations along the way.

 

The Fifth Jerusalem System was approved by the National Infrastructures Committee as a national infrastructure project. This fact reflects the importance of the project not only for Jerusalem itself, but also for neighboring settlements, neighboring factories and the Palestinian Authority (pursuant to political agreements).

 

The project is one of the largest and most complex ever undertaken by EMS Projects. The total cost is approximately NIS 2.5 billion  and is expected to offer a full solution to the Jerusalem metropolitan area by 2065.

 

By that time, the consumption is expected to top 1.65 million cu. m. per day, compared to the current consumption of about 340,000 cu. m. per day.

 

The new water conduit system will create operational flexibility in water supply and will enable the reduction of borehole pumping in the vicinity of the Jerusalem mountains. The system will also improve the reliability of the water supply system to consumers.

 

 

The Fifth Jerusalem System is divided into two sections: The Western Section and the Eastern Section.

 

The western section will commence at the Hulda Pumping Station, where the system will be connected to the national water conduit system. From there, the pipeline will stretch eastwards, up to Eshta’ol Junction.

 

This section will consist of an 80" backbone pipeline and a 54" branch pipeline from Eshta’ol to Sha’ar Hagai. Laying this pipeline entails traversing major roads using complex tunneling work.

 

The facilities along the pipeline will include reservoirs and two major pumping stations, incorporating vertical water pumps, developed by EMS, generating an output of 6,300 cu. m. per hour. A system to separate pressure areas  will be constructed along the Abu Ghosh – Har Adar – Mevaseret Zion axis that will include water pipelines and reservoirs.

 

The eastern section will commence at Eshta’ol Junction, where the western section will terminate, and will continue on to Motza Valley, where it will connect to the Jerusalem municipal water system. This section will also include reservoirs, pumping stations and electrical substations, as well as a 100" diameter tunnel.

 

 

Design and Execution Challenges

 

. EMS Projects aspires to integrate the system into the adjacent road routes as much as possible, in order to minimize environmental damage and pursuant to the infrastructure consolidation policy of the Planning Authorities in Israel.

 

The width of excavation ditches for laying the pipeline: At the outset of the project, EMS declared its intentionof not deviating from excavating minimal width ditches in environmentally sensitive areas. However, together with the progress of the design, the need arose to upgrade and replace existing old pipelines that run adjacent to the new pipeline, due to the negative effects that occurred between adjacent water pipelines.

 

Therefore, a decision was reached to include the old pipelines as part of the Fifth Pipeline project.  Because of the regulations that call for  a gap between the pipelines, the ditch in these areas was slightly widened.

 

Ecological survey: In order to minimize the impact on the environment, EMS conducted an ecological survey of the pipeline route, with the objective of identifying and preserving rare flora, carefully uprooting them and keeping them in a special nursery during the construction period, and replanting them as part of the landscape restoration work along the pipeline route.

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