Three ancient pools - key sources of water for the Second Temple in Jerusalem - are to be restored in a US-funded project, it has been announced.

Known as Solomon's Pools, the reservoirs are located near Bethlehem in the West Bank and were built by Herod the Great about 2,000 years ago, meaning they were present during Jesus' ministry.

Having since fallen into disrepair, only two of the three pools - which deliver water via an aqueduct - are reportedly now filled with water.

The $US750,000 project to restore the pools is being funded through the US State Department's Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and the US Consulate General Jerusalem and implemented through a partnership with the Solomon’s Pools Preservation and Development Center.

Donald Blome, US Consul General in Jerusalem, said at the launch of the project last week that the US hoped the site "can be a source of pride, hope, and discovery for people of every culture, religion, and background". "Places of this sort of antiquity should stir and inspire all of us to come together and celebrate their beauty.”

The project will involve emergency repairs to a portion of a wall and cistern that collapsed last year as well as work to reduce the risk of further structural failures, repair canals and establish walking paths to allow visitors to tour the site without damaging the archaeological remains.