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Water Management, Infrastructure, Negotiations and Cooperation: Use of the WAS Model

  • Franklin M. Fisher

Abstract

Joint efforts of Israeli, Jordanian, Palestinian, Dutch, and American experts have produced an optimizing model for water management, infrastructure analysis, and conflict resolution. That model — ‘WAS’, for ‘Water Allocation System’ — applies economic analysis, broadly defined, to the solution of water problems. It provides a systematic and system-wide method for analyzing water policies, infrastructure, negotiations, and conflict resolution.
  • Infrastructure questions investigated include the necessity of desalination on the Mediterranean Coast and — for Jordan — the somewhat complicated interrelations of the various projects being considered to alleviate the coming water crisis in Amman (including the Disi fossil aquifer and the oft-discussed Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal.)

  • It is shown how the WAS model can assist negotiations. Estimates of the effects of the water loss to Israel in the event of a return of the Golan to Syria or the pumping of the Hasbani by Lebanon show the effects to be small.

  • The possible effects of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in water are evaluated and shown to be a win-win situation for both parties.

The WAS model provides a powerful tool for domestic infrastructure analysis. More importantly, water is shown not to be worth war and to be a potential source of cooperation.

Keywords

Conflict Resolution Cooperation Cost-Benefit Analysis Negotiations Optimal Management 

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References

  1. Coase, R., 1960: “The Problem of Social Cost”, in: Journal of Law and Economics, 3(October): 1–44.Google Scholar
  2. Eckstein, Z.; Zackay, D.; Nachtom, Y.; Fishelson, G., 1994: “The Allocation of Water Resources between Israel, the West Bank and Gaza — An Economic Analysis”, in: Economic Quarterly, 41: 331–369 [Hebrew].Google Scholar
  3. Fisher, F.M., 2002: “Water Value, Water Management, and Water Conflict: A Systematic Approach”. in: GAIA, 11, No. 3: 187–190.Google Scholar
  4. Fisher, F.M.; Arlosoroff, S.; Eckstein, Z.; Haddadin, M.; Hamati, S.G.; Huber-Lee, A.; Jarrar, A.; Jayyousi, A.; Shamir, U.; Wesseling, H., 2002: “Optimal Water Management and Conflict Resolution: The Middle East Water Project”, in: Water Resources Research, 10.1029/2001WR000943, 16 November 2002.Google Scholar
  5. Fisher, F.M.; Arlosoroff, S.; Eckstein, Z.; Haddadin, M.; Hamati, S.G.; Huber-Lee, A.: Jarrar, A.; Jayyousi, A.; Shamir, U.; Wesseling, H., 2005: Liquid Assets: An Economic Approach for Water Management and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East and Beyond (Washington: RFF Press).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franklin M. Fisher
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of Technology Dept. of Economics E52-243FMITCambridgeUSA

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