Shared Management of Palestinian and Israeli Groundwater Resources: A Critical Analysis
A brief historical background of the status of utilization of Palestinian water resources is made with emphasis on the shared groundwater aquifers between Palestine and Israel. The political process over water resources between Palestine and Israel is outlined pointing out the lessons-learned from negotiations, the negotiation stance taken by both Parties, and the difficulties Palestine has in implementing polices and agreements for the management of shared groundwater resources. Guidelines for a comprehensive framework for the Palestinian/Israeli management of shared groundwater aquifers is presented based on three pillars — political, policies and cooperation. It is concluded that the region of Palestine and Israel is plagued by conflict and thus the political and security situation can only sharpen the critical need to formulate well-defined transboundary policies and mechanisms for cooperation to enhance the resolution of disputes over the sustainable management of shared groundwater aquifers. In reality, current agreements award Israel veto power over the Palestinians’ ability to alter the unfavorable ‘status quo’, because joint management does not apply to Israel’s water sector and control on the ground is largely in Israel’s hands.
KeywordsPalestinian water resources Palestinian/Israeli negotiations on water resources transboundary water resources shared water management guidelines
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