Water Allocation for Nature and the ‘End of Conflict’ Era
Human activities and development pressures increasingly threaten open spaces (or ‘the countryside’), natural ecosystems and other natural resources in Israel. Among them, water sources are continuously degrading. Water is mainly managed for human use, and consequently, the ability of natural ecosystems to maintain themselves and to provide humans with ecosystem services decreases.
Despite the present status of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, planners should address long-term water-related issues and consider the possible situation at the ‘end of conflict’ era. The authors examined aspects regarding water resources in the peace agreements, in proposed regional cooperation development projects, and as reflected by social and economic trends and scenarios. Their findings indicate that in peaceful times the pressures on the natural environment and water resources are likely to increase. Proposed development and improper management by all sides involved may lead to further degradation of water resources (particularly critical to the mountain aquifer), and to a situation of ‘prolonged thirst’ of terrestrial ecosystems. A first attempt to address nature’s right for water through legislation was recently made in Israel, along with discussions on desalination and on increased usage of treated effluents in agriculture. Nevertheless, these changes in water management may be inadequate to guarantee ecosystems with sufficient and sustainable water supply.
Keywordsbiodiversity ecosystem services peace agreement regional cooperation development project water allocation for nature
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Achiron-Frumkin, T.; Frumkin, R. (Eds.), 2002: Biodiversity and Sustainable Development [in Hebrew]. Strategy for sustainable development in Israel — Working group summary (Jerusalem: Ministry of the Environment).Google Scholar
- Achiron-Frumkin, T.; Frumkin, R.; Rudich, R.; Maloul, A.; Levin, N.; Papai, N., 2003: Conservation of the sands of the coastal plain [in Hebrew]. A policy paper (Jerusalem: Ministry of the Environment, SPNI, NRPA, JNF, HS, JIIS).Google Scholar
- Bromberg, G., 2004: “Water and Peace”, in: World Watch, 17: 24–30.Google Scholar
- Eidelman, A.; Cohen, G.; Bein, A.; Kaplan, M. (Eds.), 2006: The Dead Sea basin: Assessment of current situation and prospects for the future under continued Dead Sea water-level decline. Policy document submitted to the government of Israel [in Hebrew, English summary]. (Jerusalem: Ministry of National Infrastructures, Ministry of the Environment, Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies).Google Scholar
- Frumkin, R., 2003a: “Extinction of Animals [in Israel]”, in: Frumkin, R.; Khenin, D.; Eidelman, A. (Eds.): Vital Signs 2002-Worldwatch-Israel [in Hebrew] (Tel Aviv: Babel Press): 188–190.Google Scholar
- Frumkin, R., 2003b: “The Dead Sea is lower than ever before”, in: Frumkin, R.; Khenin, D.; Eidelman, A. (Eds.): Vital Signs 2002-Worldwatch-Israel [in Hebrew] (Tel Aviv: Babel Press): 174–176.Google Scholar
- Frumkin, R.; Achiron-Frumkin, T., 2003: Environmental aspects of agreements and development plans for regional cooperation: current status and future recommendations [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: The National Council for Environmental Quality, JIIS).Google Scholar
- Frumkin, R.; Shmida, A.; Sapir, Y.; Fragman-Sapir, O.; Levin, N., 2004: “Extinction of Plants in Israel”, in: Frumkin, R.; Khenin, D.; Eidelman, A. (Eds.): Vital Signs 2003-Worldwatch-Israel [in Hebrew] (Tel Aviv: Babel Press): 41–43.Google Scholar
- Gvirtzman, H., 2002: Israel Water Resources [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Yad Ben-Zvi Press).Google Scholar
- Han, I., 2002: Planning Gas Stations and Commercial Centers in Rural Areas and Open Spaces [in Hebrew]. Position paper (Jerusalem: JIIS).Google Scholar
- Israel Hydrological Service, 2000: The development of usage and the status of water resources in Israel up to autumn 1999 [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Ministry of National Infrastructure, Water Commission, May).Google Scholar
- Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2004a: “Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt. March 26, 1979”; at: <http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/Israel-Egypt+Peace+Treaty.htm>.Google Scholar
- Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2004b: “Treaty of Peace between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. October 26, 1994”; at: <http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/Israel-Jordan+Peace+Treaty.htm>.Google Scholar
- Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2004c: “Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. September 28, 1995”, at: <http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/the+israeli-palestinian+interim+agreement.htm>.Google Scholar
- Katz, Sh.; Burmil, Sh.; Carmon, N.; Shamir, U., 2001: Watersensitive Urban Planning: Infiltrating rainwater into groundwater by designing urban lots [in Hebrew] (Haifa: The Center for Urban and Regional Studies, Technion).Google Scholar
- Kliot, N., 2003: Transboundry Pollution: Israel, Arab Countries and the Palestinian Authority [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: The National Council for Environmental Quality, JIIS).Google Scholar
- Shaham, G., 2003: Nature’s Right for Water: water requirements for aquatic ecosystems and wetlands [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Ministry of the Environment and INPA).Google Scholar
- Shalmon, B., 1999: A Report on the Status of Wildlife in Israel [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: INPA, SPNI, and Ministry of the Environment).Google Scholar