Water Wisdom

Water Wisdom: Preparing the Groundwork for Cooperative and Sustainable Water Management in the Middle East

ALON TAL
ALFRED ABED RABBO
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 336
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5hj11w
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Water Wisdom
    Book Description:

    Israel and Palestine are water scarce. As the peace process continues amidst ongoing violence, water remains a political and environmental issue. Water Wisdom is model for those who believe that water conflict can be an opportunity for cooperation rather than violence. Thirty leading Palestinian and Israeli activists, water scientists, politicians, and others met to develop a future vision for the sustainable shared management of water resources. Their work explores the full range of scientific, political, social, and economic issues related to water use in the region; acknowledges areas of continuing controversy; and identifies areas of agreement.

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-4977-4
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    Alon Tal and Alfred Abed Rabbo
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)
    ALON TAL and ALFRED ABED RABBO

    This book offers considerable details about a range of water issues. The systematic and symmetrical enumeration of key controversies surrounding Israeli-Palestinian water resources by experts on both sides offers a unique contribution to this wide-ranging literature. Each subject has its own nuances which need to be considered. Specificity, indeed, is critical for resolving what often appears to be a litany of disagreements. Yet this book demonstrates that hydrological matters about which Israelis and Palestinians already agree are, in fact, far greater than the areas of disagreement. It is also encouraging that many common themes emerge from the disparate chapters. These...

  8. Part 1 Characterizing Water Resources
    • Water Resources: THE PALESTINIAN PERSPECTIVE
      (pp. 13-25)
      AMJAD ALIEWI

      This essay considers the water resources available both in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. First, review of the quantities is provided along with Palestinian claims and expectations for expanded resources. The essay then considers the associated water qualities, the sources of contamination, and challenges for environmental protection.

      The existing Palestinian water resources in the West Bank are primarily derived from four aquifer basins (table 1.1 and figure 1.1) as well as a series of springs that emanate from the groundwater. Other sources of water are the Jordan River and wadi runoffs.

      Tables 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4 represent...

    • Water Resources: THE ISRAELI PERSPECTIVE
      (pp. 26-36)
      ALON TAL

      Climatically, Israel and its neighbors are located in areas that are identified as water scarce regions. Figure 1.6 shows the enormous variation in rainfall that characterizes the relatively modest distance of 300 km from Israel’s northern tip near the Lebanese and Syrian border to its southern most point, at the Gulf of Aqaba. Some 20% of the water potential lies in the south of the country with 80% of the precipitation occurring in the north. Accordingly, most of the country can be classified as “drylands” by international standards (under 500 mm rainfall per year). The general scarcity of rain and...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 37-40)

      There appears to be little substantive differences between Israeli and Palestinian assessments of available water resources and their condition. For the most part, the sides are no longer arguing about facts or data, but rather water rights, allocation, and policy. There are, of course, clear objective disparities in the hydrological circumstances of the two populations which inform each party’s positions.

      The average per capita consumption of 50 l/day in the West Bank and the 13 l/day per capita (suitable for drinking purposes) in Gaza place constant pressure on the stability and socioeconomic conditions of a future Palestinian state. Without a...

  9. Part 2 Past Water Agreements and Their Implementation
    • The Oslo II Accords in Retrospect: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WATER PROVISIONS IN THE ISRAELI AND PALESTINIAN INTERIM PEACE AGREEMENTS
      (pp. 43-48)
      ANAN JAYOUSI

      Article 40 of the Oslo II agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians forms the normative basis for cooperation in the water and sewage sector during the interim period as identified in the agreement for the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In this essay we will highlight the main issues addressed through a brief review of the expectations of the Palestinian side versus what it perceives as has actually happened on the ground.

      The main principles that cover Article 40 can be summarized as follows:

      Israel recognizes the Palestinian water rights in the West Bank;

      both sides recognize the necessity of...

    • Article 40: AN ISRAELI RETROSPECTIVE
      (pp. 49-61)
      DORIT KERRET

      In 1995, an interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinians was signed in Washington. As implied by its title, it was supposed to be an interim agreement that would pave the path toward the Permanent Status Settlement. The Permanent Status Settlement, in fact, was to have been signed by 2000. Sadly, 15 years later, there is no sign of a permanent agreement. An unfortunate chain of events and harsh political climate diverted the implementation of this agreement from its original goals. However, regardless of its background, the agreement still stands.

      This chapter will present Israeli perceptions regarding the implementation of...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 62-64)

      Objectively, there are areas of clear progress that can be identified with the execution of Article 40 of the interim peace accord with its provisions for cooperation in water management. And yet there are also clearly disappointments on both sides. Palestinians have a difficult time translating “objective” indicators of progress associated with implementation with a general reality of day-to-day deterioration with which they are familiar. For example, while Palestinians today objectively have access to greater quantities of water than they did prior to the agreement, the effect on the pervasive scarcity is hardly recognizable. The 60 l/day allocation to average...

  10. Part 3 The Water Culture of Israelis and Palestinians
    • Water Culture in Palestine
      (pp. 67-70)
      ZIAD ABDEEN

      There are several objective differences between the water resources in the Palestinian sector and those in Israel. The most obvious one involves absolute quantities of available water. Israel currently has the upper hand in control of both surface and ground waters of the Jordan River watershed, including those areas in occupied West Bank. At the same time, water delivery infrastructure in Palestine is not as developed as it is in Israel. This means that water quality is not as high a concern in Israel as it is in Palestine. The discrepancy in both water quantity and quality is an important...

    • Water Culture in Israel
      (pp. 71-75)
      CLIVE LIPCHIN

      With at least 60% of water going to agriculture in Israel, its unique role in local Israeli culture and heritage must be understood and the practical manifestations integrated into an assessment of water culture in Israel. Agriculture has historically enjoyed a privileged place among Israeli decision-makers. Explanations for this were somewhat self-evident during the 1950s and 1960s, when agriculture provided some 30% of the country’s GNP and most of the top political leadership had either immediate or historical connections with agricultural communities.

      Zionism, the nationalistic ideology of the Jewish people, always elevated agricultural pursuits, encouraging “pioneer” immigrants to establish new...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 76-78)

      The cultural contexts of Israelis and Palestinians in the realm of water have noted similarities and differences. But they inform and will influence the future discourse about water resource management.

      The role of agriculture in each society is markedly different, but the implications for water policy may not be. In Israel, the commitment to the farming sector constitutes a hold over from Zionist ideology that gives the agricultural sector a preferrential status. Despite any economic and social indicators that say otherwise, farming as an honorable profession still resonates strongly with the Israeli public. While agriculture’s “stock” has dropped in recent...

  11. Part 4 Water Legislation
    • The Palestinian Legal Regime for Water Quality Protection
      (pp. 81-89)
      HIBA I. HUSSEINI

      The legal heritage in Palestine dates far back to various historical eras including the Ottoman rule, British Mandate, Jordanian/Egyptian rule, and the Israeli military orders issued during the Israeli rule. Then there are Palestinian laws and regulations. In respect of water, the various legal traditions have had significant impact on shaping water issues. The Sharia deems water a source belonging to all, i.e., public property held in common. The Ottomans, between the sixteenth century and beginning of the twentieth (1917), maintained Sharia principles but established rules for use. During the British Mandate (1917–1948), the same rules remained in operation,...

    • Legal Framework for Allocation of Water and for Protection of Water Quality in Israel
      (pp. 90-97)
      MARCIA GELPE

      The ownership of water is based on a system of public, rather than private, ownership. All water sources in Israel are designated by statute to be public property, subject to control of the state. The state is to exercise its control in a way that serves the needs of the residents of the state and development of the country. No individual has rights in water except as provided in the Water Law of 1959; ownership of riparian or other real property carries with it no water rights.

      Water allocation policies are partly controlled by the Water Law. In addition, both...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 98-100)

      It is assumed that water quantity allocation will be addressed in an agreement between Palestinians and Israelis and that such an agreement may require changes in the existing domestic legal rules of both parties. For the most part, both entities have legal regimes in place for water quantity allocation, and these could be used to divide up the amount of water the entity receives under any agreement. The two legal regimes differ in that there are private water-use rights under the Palestinian regime but not under the Israeli regime. These use rights can be controlled and even extinguished by the...

  12. Part 5 Groundwater Management
    • Shared Groundwater Resources: ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS AND TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS IN PALESTINE
      (pp. 103-116)
      KAREN ASSAF

      Transboundary or shared water resources imply hydrological interdependence, connecting different riparian countries within the one shared system by the use of these waters for their various needs. The borders of groundwater and surface catchments and national boundaries are obviously not congruent, and international law and practices are to be followed to define the right of all riparian states to their water needs in any international water basin.

      The water sources in Palestine (e.g., the inland region of the West Bank and the coastal region of the Gaza Strip) are primarily from groundwater wells, the only surface water being from springs...

    • The Mountain Aquifer: SHARED GROUNDWATER RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS, AND TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS
      (pp. 117-121)
      DROR AVISAR

      The dispute between Israelis and Palestinians over the shared water resources of the Mountain Aquifer is one potential obstacle in the path of peace in the Middle East. One of the largest freshwater sources in Israel and Palestine is the Mountain Aquifer, a particularly vulnerable resource. This aquifer is the only source of water for Palestinians in the West Bank and provides about 50% of Israel’s drinking water. Due to the chronic groundwater deterioration occurring within the Coastal Aquifer, the significance of this water source appears to be increasing.

      The majority of the Mountain Aquifer’s natural recharge area lies within...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 122-124)

      The crux of the historic disagreement between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in the water realm has involved rights to the Mountain Aquifer. Both sides have conveniently adopted theoretical positions which support their hydrological interests. Hence, Israel argues that it enjoys historic rights to the aquifer, pointing to the storage capacity and established wells inside Israel’s 1967 borders. Palestinians maintain their rights as riparians, relying on the location of the aquifer recharge area, where the rainfall actually originates. Resolving this “zero-sum-game” dynamic through other formulations, such as “equitable use” or the “needs” of the parties, has only been moderately successful. Ultimately,...

  13. Part 6 Stream Restoration
    • The Condition of Streams and Prospects for Restoration in Palestine
      (pp. 127-135)
      NADER EL-KHATEEB

      While a rich variety of streams flow through the Palestinian Authority, most of them are highly polluted, mainly from untreated wastewater and other polluting activities. The pollutants not only flow in the surface water, but often infiltrate the groundwater which both parties use for drinking and for other purposes. The present condition of the streams is exacerbated by the geopolitical context. Many streams in the Palestinian Authority are transboundary and do not recognize political borders. The end result is that contaminated waters flow across the border in both directions, causing pollution and degradation of water quality. As a result, both...

    • Stream Restoration under Conditions of Water Scarcity: INSIGHT FROM THE ISRAELI EXPERIENCE
      (pp. 136-147)
      AVITAL GASITH and YARON HERSHKOVITZ

      Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, many of the coastal streams had significant perennially flowing water habitats. Today, two-thirds of the population, a majority of the industry, and a considerable share of intensive agriculture activities are located in the coastal plain. Population increase and the ensuing agricultural and urban development resulted in augmented demand for water. For many years water has been diverted for human use (mostly agriculture) directly from the streams or indirectly from the aquifers. Stream channels lost dilution capacity and some dried out. The demographic growth was also followed by increasing production...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 148-150)

      Stream restoration is still in nascent stages of evolution in the region. While there have been modest and isolated improvements in several Israeli streams, the general situation is still extremely polluted and water quality is far from the natural conditions. Aquatic ecological systems have not been restored and the present conditions are generally poor.

      Among the clear challenges to future restoration efforts is ensuring that both parties perceive stream rehabilitation as a “win-win” dynamic. Palestinians argue that many sewage treatment plants have been built with Palestinian funds but that the treated water goes to Israel. (Furthermore, Israel, it is claimed,...

  14. Part 7 Drinking-Water Standards
    • Drinking-Water Quality and Standards: THE PALESTINIAN PERSPECTIVE
      (pp. 153-161)
      ALFRED ABED RABBO

      The principal source of drinking water in the southern West Bank is that part of the eastern basin of the Mountain Aquifer which drains to the Dead Sea. This is a deep area within the Mountain Aquifer, with a depth ranging between 800 m and 850m in strata of Albian to Turonian age, and is made up of two principal subaquifers. The upper, unconfined subaquifer, in Cenomanian-Turonian strata, is between 50 m and 80 m higher than the lower, confined subaquifer, of Albian-Cenomanian age. According to borehole data, an impermeable stratum of bluish green clays and marls and some chalks...

    • Israeli Drinking-Water Resources and Supply
      (pp. 162-169)
      RAMY HALPERIN

      Fresh drinking-water supply in Israel is based on three principal sources: two groundwater aquifers, the Coastal Aquifer and the Mountain Aquifer (the latter is also known as the Yarqon-Taninim Aquifer), and one surface water source, the Lake Kinneret basin. In addition, there are a number of other minor water sources. The Coastal Aquifer extends along the Mediterranean Sea shore, from Haifa in the north to the Gaza Strip in the south. The primary quality of the water in this aquifer was once excellent, with low salinity and no pollution, but over the years this aquifer has become the most severely...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 170-172)

      There is a significant gap in the quality of drinking water available to Palestinian and Israeli households. While Israel’s drinking-water quality has largely improved, there are many examples of chronic contamination in Palestinian West Bank communities. Drinking much of the water supplied in the Gaza Strip has for some time been defined as unhealthy.

      For the foreseeable future, Palestinian and Israeli drinking-water systems will remain intertwined. Today some 40.3 mcm of drinking water is supplied by Israel’s Mekorot water utility to houses in the West Bank—well over 60% of present municipal use. An additional 3.2 mcm of water is...

  15. Part 8 Sewage Treatment
    • Sewage Treatment in Gaza and the Quest to Upgrade Infrastructure
      (pp. 175-182)
      KHALIL TUBAIL

      The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world with a population of 1,472,000 in 2005 and an area of only 365km². The Gaza Strip is located in a semi-arid area where water resources are scarce. Due to increasing groundwater pumping for human use as well as for irrigation purposes, the extraction of groundwater currently exceeds the recharge of the groundwater aquifers. As a result, the groundwater level is falling and the salinity is increasing, making the water unsuitable either for human consumption or for irrigation purposes. The environmental situation in the Gaza Strip is...

    • Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in Israel
      (pp. 183-188)
      YOSSI INBAR

      The total area of arable land in Israel has increased from 1,600 km² in 1948 to approximately 4,200km² in 2001. Irrigated land has increased from 300km² in 1948 to 1,866km² in 2001. Water scarcity has traditionally been the primary limiting factor in Israeli agriculture. Agriculture is the number one factor in the protection of open space and prevention of desertification. It also serves as a sink for waste produced in the urban sector, including effluents, sewage sludge, or compost.

      The combination of severe water shortage, densely populated urban areas, and highly intensive irrigated agriculture makes it essential that Israel put...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 189-192)

      There is probably no area in water management where the gap between Palestinian and Israeli environmental performance is greater than in sewage treatment. While Israel’s present level of treatment is often lacking, the present infrastructure and treatment levels are world’s apart from those that existed 15 years ago. At the same time, despite the general sense of progress, some of the assumptions about future wastewater utilization in Israel may require reconsideration. For instance, as urbanization expands in some regions, the agricultural demand for wastewater will continue to drop. Ultimately, transferring effluents great distances to where demand exists may make less...

  16. Part 9 Agriculture and Water
    • Sustainable Water Supply for Agriculture in Palestine
      (pp. 195-210)
      SAID A. ASSAF

      The geographic and historical area known as Palestine has been inhabited continuously by Palestinians whose forefathers thousands of years ago and even before Christ’s time were the Canaanites and Polista tribes of Greece.¹ The Canaanites were the first to plow the earth and cultivate it. The farming of rain-fed olive trees and olive oil production has been the backbone of Palestinian agriculture from the old times of the Roman rule and the more recent Ottoman rule of historical Palestine, which was followed by the British Mandate on Palestine after World War I.² This mainly dry-farmed, rain-fed agricultural activity continued with...

    • Sustainable Water Supply for Agriculture in Israel
      (pp. 211-223)
      ALON BEN-GAL

      Since the beginning of the Zionist resettlement in Palestine around the turn of the twentieth century, Jewish presence has possessed a strong agrarian emphasis. Early pioneers believed in farming as an ideology that was needed to transform the occupational and social structure the Jews had in Eastern Europe into a natural organic national structure rooted in the soil. The preference for agrarian living was also thought to assist in transforming the Jews into a nation “like all other nations” (Elon 1971). In addition to its ideology, the early Jewish agricultural society was defined by rejection of traditional Middle Eastern farming...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 224-226)

      Israeli and Palestinian agricultural practices and conditions are in many ways very different. Israel epitomizes an irrigation-driven, high-tech, high-input, high-production system, with an increasing utilization of wastewater and greenhouses. Palestinian agriculture remains primarily rain-fed, although the percentage of protected agricultural facilities and the general willingness to utilize treated effluents is increasing.

      The internal discourse about agriculture in each of the parties, however, has certain similarities. The relative contribution of agriculture to both economies has generally declined over the years and, in the long run, will continue to do so. In both communities there are those who believe that the overall...

  17. Part 10 Desalination
    • The Coming Age of Desalination for Gaza: VISIONS, ILLUSIONS, AND REALITY
      (pp. 229-237)
      NAHED GHBN

      The Gaza Strip is located along the coast of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, covering an area of 378 km² (United Nations Environment Program 2003), stretching over a distance of approximately 45 km from Beit Hanoun, a town in the north, to Rafah, a city in the south, with width of 7 to 12 km. The Gaza Strip is composed of five governorates, sixteen municipalities, and nine local councils. Each municipality has its own water source and a separate distribution system. Water consumption averages 80 to 100 l/c/d (liters per capita per day). Due to the deteriorating distribution network, water losses...

    • Desalination in Israel: STATUS, PROSPECTS, AND CONTEXTS
      (pp. 238-245)
      YAAKOV GARB

      Desalination is a marvelous technical feat, separating pure water out of the saltwater of seas, brackish aquifers, and wastewater. With membrane technologies improving and the costs of desalinated water dropping, this once exotic water source is fast becoming a mainstay of Israel’s water system. The Ashkelon plant, for example, the first of five new facilities planned for Israel, is the largest reverse-osmosis plant in the world, producing 100 mcm/yr, or 15% of total domestic demand. This plant’s successful operation has started to shift the perceptions and decisions of the water community in Israel, and some expect Israel to eventually derive...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 246-248)

      Desalination has produced considerable optimism among water managers. Indeed, it removes some of the constraints in what was perceived as a “zero sum game” and offers negotiators much needed flexibility. Ultimately, desalination represents the possibility of forestalling the enormous shortages that have been projected for so long. Desalination serves to diffuse the explosive rhetoric put forward by the “hydro-hysterics” whose grim visions of a thirsty future do little to allow for rational discussion. Surely, the agricultural sector, which for some time has assumed that its freshwater supplies would only dwindle as domestic and industrial water demand grows, has reason for...

  18. Part 11 The Jordan River Basin
    • Managing the Jordan River Basin: A PALESTINIAN PERSPECTIVE
      (pp. 251-257)
      NANCY RUMMAN

      From the Palestinian perspective, the Jordan River Basin is the most important surface water resource in the region. The river passes through five countries: it has its sources in Lebanon and Syria and flows through Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian lands, which are all legal riparians with legitimate rights. The West Bank (as part of Palestine) is therefore a watercourse state as its territory is part of an international watercourse. The climate in this part of the West Bank is characterized by hot and extremely dry summers because of the limited rainfall it receives and the very high evaporation rate that...

    • Managing the Jordan River Basin: AN ISRAELI PERSPECTIVE
      (pp. 258-263)
      RICHARD LASTER and DAN LIVNEY

      The Jordan River begins in the northern part of Israel, the southern part of Lebanon, and the Golan Heights, where waters flows from springs, melting snow, and rain into the upper Jordan and from there into Lake Kinneret. The Yarmuk River flows through Syria and Jordan, joining the lower Jordan River a few kilometers south of the Kinneret. The river continues flowing south until the Dead Sea and is its major source of water.

      The reduction in the water flows in the lower Jordan is a result of increasing extraction of water from the river’s various sources over the past...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 264-264)

      More pages may have been written about the Jordan River than any other water resource in the world. Such keen interest internationally certainly has little to do with the size of the river, which for most of the year naturally is a modest stream. Rather, the historic, spiritual, and religious significance gives it a place in the world’s imagination that has never been utilized from an economic point of view, nor protected ecologically.

      Hence, future agreements over the Jordan have to clearly consider what its optimal role might be as a regional resource. Economically, rather than talking about adding trivial...

  19. Part 12 Gaza’s Water Situation
    • The Gaza Water Crisis
      (pp. 267-277)
      YOUSEF ABU-MAYLA and EILON M. ADAR

      The Gaza Strip has a small area of about 365 km² in a semiarid region. It has one of the highest population densities in the world. One of the main issues facing the Gaza Strip today is a water crisis—the difficulty in obtaining safe and clean water where groundwater is the only water source. The water situation in the Gaza Strip has deteriorated in both quantitative and qualitative aspects. The problem has not been solved due to technical, social, and political constraints, according to the Palestinian Water Authority’s plans. Groundwater reservoirs with adequate water quality are diminishing rapidly, and...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 278-280)

      The recent violence and military clash between Israel and the Gaza Strip is particularly unfortunate because this small, crowded, and indigent area is in desperate hydrological straights. The inevitable damage to infrastructure associated with full-scale war only exacerbated what was already a deplorable situation. Both the quantity and the quality of the available groundwater are unacceptable, and basic sanitation services are largely deficient. The impact on Palestinian public health and groundwater resources is severe. Even putting aside the humanitarian imperatives, the proximity of one of Israel’s primary desalination facilities to the border with Gaza makes the steady discharges of raw...

  20. Part 13 Citizen Involvement
    • The Role of Civil Society in Addressing Transboundary Water Issues in the Israeli-Palestinian Context
      (pp. 283-292)
      IYAD ABURDEINEH, GIDON BROMBERG, LUCY MICHAELS and NA’AMA TESCHNER

      In an area of conflict where governments have difficulty discussing civil issues of all kinds, it becomes the role of the civil society to become a voice for these concerns and proffer solutions. The urgency of the water crisis developing in the Middle East, which is inherently transboundary in nature, and the low level of negotiations between governments at this time necessarily bring civil society into the spotlight. The ongoing relationship between Israelis and Palestinians working in civil society on water issues can offer an invaluable alternative forum for addressing this crucial public health and environmental issue, where governments are...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 293-294)

      Palestinian NGOs for many years essentially filled the vacuum created by the absence of local governance in the occupied territories, making Palestinian civil society unusually well developed, in general, and particularly impressive and professional in the water sphere. Israel’s nongovernment sector has also flourished due to a combination of openness by the central government and court system, support from international Jewish philanthropy, and a highly engaged citizenry. This happy symmetry between Palestinian and Israeli civil societies has already been manifested in a litany of joint projects in the environmental and water spheres. Palestinian and Israeli academics have been especially involved...

  21. Part 14 The Role of Third Parties in Conflict Resolution
    • The Role of Third Parties in Helping to Resolve the Conflicts over Water Issues in Israel and Palestine
      (pp. 297-307)
      ROBIN TWITE

      It is by now almost axiomatic that third parties have a key role to play in resolving the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Since 1948 the two peoples have struggled to resolve their differences but with little success. Again and again outright conflict has been succeeded by an uneasy truce, but there has been no real resolution of the issues of concern to both parties. Unhappily, this still remains true. Over the whole of the period since the establishment of the State of Israel third parties, individual states, and international organizations have attempted to intervene constructively but with only limited...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 308-310)

      If the past 15 years have made anything clear, it is that leaving Israelis and Palestinians to resolve their differences will have limited results. Quantum leaps forward in the region became possible due to interventions of third parties. The United States has been particularly active in this realm, from the work of special presidential envoy Eric Johnston during the 1950s to the work of the Clinton administration during the 1990s. The increasing status of the “quartet”—the negotiating consortium comprised of the United States, Russia, the EU, and the UN—creates a broad international umbrella for facilitating hydrological progress. This...

  22. Part 15 Cooperative Water Management Strategies
    • Joint Aquifer Management: INSTITUTIONAL OPTIONS
      (pp. 313-320)
      MARWAN HADDAD and ERAN FEITELSON

      The Mountain Aquifer, composed of three sub-basins, supplies approximately a third of the Israeli water consumption and is the source of almost all the water supplied to the Palestinians in the West Bank. Due to the properties of this aquifer, it has long been suggested that it should be managed jointly. If the two parties do indeed intend to manage this shared resource judiciously, it is likely they will need to come up with innovative management structures. A series of options has been proposed in the past for such a structure (Feitelson and Haddad 1998). In practice, a coordinated management...

    • Editors’ Summary
      (pp. 321-322)

      This part’s underlying assumption is ultimately embraced by all of the book’s participating authors: joint management of water resources between Israel and Palestine is inevitable. If the management system if designed wisely and equitably, this cooperation will also be more environmentally sound and economically efficient than unilateral actions which would inevitably lead to a tragedy of the commons dynamics—or what the authors refer to as a “race to the bottom.”

      The authors identify “trust” as a crucial dwindling resource that will need to be replenished as part of the establishment of an effective joint management strategy. The presence of...

  23. List of Contributors
    (pp. 323-326)
  24. Index
    (pp. 327-332)