Water and peace in the Middle East: A case study of Israel and Palestine
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe world is facing a growing challenge in maintaining water quality and meeting increasing demands for water resources. This trend is particularly evident in the Middle East, where water scarcity has reached critical levels. This water scarcity could lead to poverty, social or political problems, and disputes where any amount of water to be shared between Israel and its neighbors--the Palestinians, Syrians, and Jordanians- decreases the potential allocation for the other groups. Comprehensive development of resources combined with rigid demand management strategies and effective waste water reuse systems could prevent water from becoming a cause for conflict. Management of groundwater, in general, and the management of transboundary groundwater, in particular, are difficult tasks. This is more than true when this transboundary-shared resource is shared by parties who have a history of mutual hostilities for decades. As a result, water management between the Israelis and the Palestinians should focus on property rights, principles of management, and economic aspects and institutional aspects. In order to be efficient and effective in the area of water management, much data and knowledge based on monitoring, modeling, and research are required. As a result, water could become the window of opportunity and cooperation in the Middle Eastern region, because it represents financial aspects, while the other aspects which constrain the peace process are much more political and sensitive in nature and are more difficult to solve. Collaboration in water resources management can thus become a major contributor toward confidence building and a basis for cooperation and joint management between the Israelis and Palestinians, as well as all of the parties in the region.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Hydrology and Water Resources