Brooks, D.B., Trottier, J.; 2015. Changing the nature of transboundary water agreements: the Israeli–Palestinian case.
This abridged version of the Proposal for a water agreement between Israel and Palestine was originally developed for Friends of the Earth Middle East, which is now known as EcoPeace Middle East. Ist has been revised after response to reviewer comments, and is for presentation at the Transboundary Water Management Workshop in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on June 22-23, 2015.
Brooks, D.B., Trottier, J.; 2014. De-nationalization and de-securitization of transboundary water resources: the Israeli–Palestinian case. International Journal of Water Resources Development, Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 211-223
Many people think of transboundary water in terms of national security. However, water is not, nor is it likely to become, a cause of war. Rather, the need is for water security, which implies that water management must balance the goals of efficiency, equity, sustainability and implementability. This article suggests how a joint management structure for fresh water can be designed to promote ongoing resolution of issues, and do so in a way that de-nationalizes and de-securitizes transboundary water. Though designed with the Israeli–Palestinian case in mind, the approach is applicable wherever water divides rather than unites states or peoples.
Alleson, I., Levin, J., Brenner, S., & Al Hmaidi, M.S,. 2013. Peace and Pollution: An Examination of Palestinian—Israeli Trans-Boundary Hazardous Waste Management 20 Years after the Oslo Peace Accords. Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, 8(1), pp. 15-29.
(Abstract): This paper qualitatively evaluates the outcomes of the Palestinian–Israeli Oslo environmental peace agreements regarding trans-boundary hazardous waste management.
Brooks, D. B., et al. 2013. Changing the nature of transboundary water agreements: the Israeli–Palestinian case. Water International 38(6): 671-686.
This abridged version of the proposal developed for EcoPeace Middle East presents the design for an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians to share water in a physically realistic, ecologically sustainable and socially equitable manner. Existing arrangements are, at best, inadequate and, in some cases, counterproductive. The proposal relies upon ongoing monitoring and mediation to achieve equitable and sustainable use. It presents why and how an agreement on water can be reached now, before resolving the full range of issues required in a Final Status Agreement between Israel and Palestine.
Selby, J., 2013. Water Cooperation – or Instrument of Control?, Global Insights Policy Brief 05, University of Sussex Global Studies: 4 pp.
The UN and other international organizations claim that water cooperation is crucial to peace and sustainable development. Indeed, 2013 is the UN International Year of Water Cooperation and World Water Day 2013 focuses on this theme. But is this true? What is water cooperation? What different forms can it take? And is it always such a good thing? This policy brief explores these questions, by focusing on one particularly important and celebrated case of water cooperation, between Israel and the Palestinians. It summarizes new research based on the negotiation files of the Israeli-Palestinian ‘Joint Water Committee’, and shows that in this particular context cooperation has led neither to peace nor sustainable development…
Katz, D., Fishhendler, I., 2013. The impact of uncertainties on cooperation and conflict in transboundary water: the case of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Geoforum 50: 200-210.
Taking Israeli-Palestinian Annapolis round and post-Annapolis negotiations as a case study, this work identifies the effect of uncertainties related to water on negotiation positions. Our results indicate that social and political uncertainties play a much stronger role in water negotiations than do technical or physical uncertainties that often dominate in other resource issues.
Lonergan, S. C., Brooks, D. B., 1995. WATERSHED – The Role of Fresh Water in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. 220 pp. ISBN out of print.
Watershed describes the water crisis faced by Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories today — a crisis that will have much to do with the design and the success of the current peace proposals. The authors examine the geopolitics of water in the region, the economic importance, problems of water supply and water quality, and regional conflicts over water. They offer immediate solutions to water problems in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Watershed is a unique examination of water as a source of conflict and as a possible part of the peace process. This book is an invaluable addition to understanding Middle East issues.
Aufleger, M., Mett, M. (eds.), 2011. Handshake Across the Jordan: Water and Understanding. Forum Umwelttechnik und Wasserbau 10: 285 pp.
The workshop “Handshake across the Jordan – Water and Understanding” was held in Pella, Jordan, which is located in the eastern rims of the Jordan Valley. Within the scope of the workshop the important role of the resource water was discussed in a multi-scientific, intercultural dialogue. The substantial problems of the current situation of water resources in the Middle East and in North Africa were pointed out and possibilities were presented, which could contribute to a reduction of the serious water problems. 24 presentations were given by experts from more than 13 countries worldwide.
Drieschova, A., Toolkit: Mechanisms to Reduce Uncertainty in International Water Treaties, Clico; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: 37 pp.
This toolkit seeks to identify available uncertainty management strategies and mechanisms, identifying the factors that affect the choice of these mechanisms to address uncertainties and evaluate their effectiveness in light of changes in the political, economic, and natural environment.
Al-Sa’ed, R., 2010. A policy framework for trans-boundary wastewater issues along the Green Line, the Israeli-Palestinian border. International Journal of Environmental Studies 67(6): 937-954.
The annual discharges of municipal wastewater across the Green Line (the Israeli–Palestinian border) are causing a bi-national conflict with political, environmental, and economic dimensions. This paper surveys the current scope of wastewater facilities in Palestinian communities and discusses the immense challenges to achieving sustainable wastewater treatment facilities. Current Israeli water policy hinders effective regional solutions to trans-boundary wastewater issues. This paper proposes a less confrontational approach to solve common problems.
Westerkamp, M., Houdret, A., 2010. Peacebuilding across Lake Albert: Reinforcing Environmental Cooperation between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Initiative for Peacebuilding: 2010. IFP Regional Cooperation on Natural Resources, Environment and Economy Cluster: Initiative for Peacebuilding, 27 pp.
The role of the environment and natural resource management in peacebuilding is particularly important, as it can facilitate trust-building and benefit sharing. The analysis of Lake Albert, shared by Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, shows that peacebuilding opportunities exist even where high-level political agreements are lacking when initiatives integrate and rely on local stakeholders.
Brooks, D., Trottier, J., 2010. Confronting Water in an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement. Journal of Hydrology 382: 103-114.
This paper and presentation proposes adoption of a joint management structure that allows for ongoing conflict resolution concerning water demands and does so in a way that effectively de-nationalizes and de-securitizes water uses. Though specifically applied to water shared by Israelis and Palestinians, the objectives, principles and institutional structure are relevant to any place in the world where trans-boundary water divides rather than unites two or more peoples.
Gehrig, J., Rogers, M. M., 2009. Water & Conflict – Incorporating Peacebuilding into Water Development. Catholic Relief Services: 134 pp.
This document is intended to assist water development practitioners, civil society peacebuilders, and human rights advocates as they seek to integrate water and peacebuilding into their project programming. The purpose is essentially two-fold:
– Informative: to provide a conceptual framework for the major issues and dynamics.
– Programmatic: to provide practical guidance and tools for action.
Bang, J. M., 2009. Sakhnin: Portrait of an Environmental Peace Project in Israel. Floris Books: 120 pp.
Sakhnin is an Arab city in Northern Israel. There, a remarkable project is underway, run by a group of dedicated Arabs and Jews, to teach environmental awareness to local school and university students. The centrepiece of the project is pioneering waste-water treatment, which is used to irrigate local farmland. The project has been a great force for inspiring new trust and hope in community relations.
This portrait of Sakhnin is based on interviews with local people, giving them a voice to tell their uplifting story, against a history and continuing background of conflict.
United Nations Environment Programme, 2009. From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment. Policy Paper No. 1: 44 pp.
This report, which inaugurates a new policy series by UNEP on the environmental dimensions of disasters and conflicts, aims to summarize the latest knowledge and field experience on the linkages between environment, conflict and peacebuilding, and to demonstrate the need for those linkages to be addressed in a more coherent and systematic way by the UN, Member States and other stakeholders.
Memorandum for a World Water Protocol. 2009. Conference Secretariat: Peace with Water, European Parliament, Brussels. 25 pp.
This memorandum exposes the reasoning that justifies the urgency of an initiative in favour of a new worldwide water policy, inspired by a new political water paradigm resulting in a global water plan.
Beyth, M., 2006. Water Crisis in Israel. In Leybourne, M., Gaynor, A. (eds.), Water: Histories, Cultures, Ecologies. Crawley, WA: UWA Press. 171-181.
Footnotes and references to the paper
This paper gives a general overview of the water situation in the region and the crisis facing us today. It is part of a book published in West Australia entitled Water.
Fresh water situation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
All aspects of the fresh water situation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are underlain by the scarcity of water in the region compared with the demands for it.
This paper, written for the World Expo 2008 in Zaragoza, focuses on the institutions governing water use, for it is the institutions that determine whether water is extracted in ways that are ecologically sustainable, used in ways that are economically efficiently, and distributed in ways that are socially equitable.
Brooks, D. B., 2006. Human Rights to Water in North Africa and the Middle East: What’s New and What Isn’t; What’s Important and What’s Not. Workshop on Water as a Human Right in the Middle East and North Africa: Cairo, Egypt.
Nowhere else in the world is the competition for water so strong as it is in MENA. Average annual supply of water for the region as a whole is now well under 1500 cubic metres per capita, and many nations fall below 500 (UNESCO, 2003). At those levels, one can expect chronic water scarcity unless water is managed carefully and the economy is directed to low-water-consuming activities. Today, most MENA nations still base their economies on irrigated agriculture, and their population growth is among the fastest in the world. Clearly, problems lie ahead.
Brooks, D. B., Thomson, L., & El Fattal, L., 2007. Water Demand Management in the Middle East and North Africa: Observations from the IDRC Forums and Lessons for the Future. Water International 32 (2): 193-204.
In 2002 and 2003, Canada’s International Development Research Centre, in partnership with other donors, organized four regional Forums to facilitate the exchange of information, results and lessons learned on water demand management (WDM) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
This review extracts lessons from the Forums, and suggests short- and long-term entry points for research and practice.
Fischhendler, I., 2008. Ambiguity in Transboundary Environmental Dispute Resolution: The Israeli-Jordanian Water Agreement. Journal of Peace Research 45(1): 79-97.
This study aims to examine why, when, and how ambiguity is applied in agreements pertaining to natural resources, and water in particular. The Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement, which includes an annex on water use regulation, is used as a case study.
Fischhendler, I., 2008. When Ambiguity in Treaty Design Becomes Destructive: A Study of Transboundary Water. Global Environmental Politics 8(1): 115-140.
Ambiguity is a double-edged sword. Its use can be constructive in that it can help to bring a dispute to temporary closure. At the same time, it can leave unresolved critical issues, leading to a destruction of relations between parties during the implementation and management phases of agreements.
Fischhendler, I., 2007. Escaping the “polluter pays” trap: Financing wastewater treatment on the Tijuana-San Diego border. Ecological Economics 63: 485-498.
Building and operating infrastructure to address transboundary environmental hazards requires dividing the cost of pollution prevention between bordering states. When cost-burden questions arise, the solution often suggested is the “polluter pays principle” (PPP). However, when political and economic relations between neighboring countries are asymmetrical, other cost-burden principles are often adopted. Given the discrepancy between theory and practice, the aim of this study is to identify some of the available cost-burden principles and to examine when they might replace the PPP. The pollution-prevention regime along the San Diego/Tijuana border is used as a case study.
Drieschova, A., Giordano, M., & Fischhendler, I., 2008. Governance mechanisms to address flow variability in water treaties. Global Environmental Change 18(2): 285-295.
While the importance of flow variability in water treaties is acknowledged, little work has been done to identify those mechanisms that have actually been employed. The present study uses a content analysis of a large number of water treaties in order to identify approaches used in practice.
Fischhendler, I., 2008. Institutional Conditions for IWRM: The Israeli Case. Ground Water 46(1): 91-102.
The Israeli water system, which adopted integrated water resource management (IWRM), is often cited as a model for other countries struggling with fragmented water systems. Yet, despite the exceptional degree of integration, Israel in the past two decades has adopted an unsustainable water policy. The aim of this study is to understand this failure and thereby to postulate on the institutional conditions required for successful implementation of IWRM. The study focuses on the politics of water allocation during the drought of 1999 to 2002. This case study teaches us that when reforming the water sector along IWRM lines, measures must be taken to ensure that the physical integration coincides with a balanced institutional integrationotherwise the results may be worse than if there were no integration at all.
Trottier, J., 2007. A wall, water and power: the Israeli “separation fence”. Review of International Studies 33: 105-127.
Julie Trottier examines the “separation fence” – constructed by Israel to isolate itself from the Palestinians – and the many questions it raises. Why was the construction of a fence perceived by the Israelis as a solution and as the only solution? What determined the specific, serpentine path of the fence and what impact does it have on both Palestinian and Israeli societies? A resulting reconfiguration of the power structure within Palestinian society is clearly unfolding and deserves analysis.
Arrojo-Agudo, P., 2005. For A New Water Culture. The Right to Water: The Green Cross Optimist (Winter): 9-12.
The Water Framework Directive heralds a radical change in the approach to water management in Europe. It represents a new ecosystem-based approach driven by a new demand management and conservation strategies, in contrast to the traditional approach to managing a natural resource based on supply management strategies supported by massive public subsidies.
Gorbachev, M., 2005. Access to Water is Not a Privilege, It’s a Right. The Right to Water: The Green Cross Optimist (Winter): 4-5.
In September 2004, at the World Urban Forum in Barcelona, Green Cross International announced the launch of a global campaign for the Right to Water. Mikhail Gorbachev, Chairman of the Board of Green Cross International, writes this article inviting all readers to become Ambassadors for this global citizen’s initiative in their own countries, communities and institutions.
Khalaf, A. R., Al-Najar, H. M., Hamed, J. T., 2006. Assessment of Rainwater Run-off due to the Proposed Regional Plan for Gaza Governorates. Journal of Applied Sciences 6(13): 2693-2704.
The Gaza Strip has been experiencing an increasing shortage of water, due to growing demands and its location in a semi-arid region with a small average rainfall of 300 mm/year. There is increasing pressure on underground water resources, which has led to an irreversible depletion of the aquifer. Mitigation measures, such as rainwater collection and areas for natural recharge should be protected.
Al-Najar, H., Adeloye, A. J., 2005. The Effect of Urban Expansion on Groundwater as a Renewable Resource in the Gaza Strip. RICS Research Paper Series 5(8): 23pp.
The required quantity of drinking water in the urban areas of the Gaza Strip has rapidly increased in recent years as a result of the rapid growth in population. The purpose of this paper is to present the current state of the water resources situation in the Gaza Strip adn then outline simple, sustainable paradigms for controlling the runoff at source so that more of it could be channeled towards groundwater recharge.
Isendahl, N., Schmidt, G., 2006. Drought in the Mediterranean: WWF Policy Proposals. A WWF Report (July).
In the last few years, several regions in Europe have been affected by drought. Droughts are estimated to become worse and more frequent in the light of global climate change. Therefore, essential shifts in policy are required to be prepared for drought events and prevent situations of chornic water scarcity.
This report intends to make clear the urgent need of good water management practices in the Mediterranean in light of increasing drought.