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©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Past and Present Can Help Build Better Future for the States Sharing Water Resources (Israeli-Arab Water Conflict) Dr. Mohamed Asheesh Oulu University of Applied Sciences Kotkantie Oulu, Finland
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 TWRM in Global Context l 263 river basins in the world, shared by two or more countries (FAO 2002) 263 river basins l Nearly 50 countries have 75% or more of their total land area within shared river basins. l 35-40% of the world's population lives in these basins. l ”Everybody lives downstream” l Water Conflicts Water Conflicts
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 The Problems l inequality in distribution of the water resources l excessive use l high water usage for food production l growth of tension growth of tension l crossboundary water resources l drylands aspects l global climate changes l distrust as a consequence of poor relations and use of force to solve conflictsconflicts
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Water war or land war l General (later defense minister under Menachem Begin, and later still prime minister) Ariel Sharon once said, "People generally regard 5 June 1967 as the day the Six- day war began. That is the official date. But, in reality, it started two- and-a-half years earlier, on the day Israel decided to act against the diversion of the Jordan." The 1967 "Six Days War" might be considered the first "water war." l Israel is considering itself to be a First World country, surrounded by Third World countries, in the middle of an ecosystem entirely unsuited to support such disparity.
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 The National Water Carrier l The National Water Carrier of Israel (construction started 1956) is the main water project of Israel. Its main task is to transfer water of the rainy north of Israel to the center and arid south and to enable efficient use of water and regulation of water supply in the country.waterIsrael l Most of the water works in Israel are connected to the National Water Carrier, the length of which is about 130 kilometers.
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Water Sources l Lake Kinneret (a.k.a., the Sea of Galilee) provides over a third of Israel's water. Lake Kinneret (a.k.a., the Sea of Galilee l Another third comes from two aquifers - large, geographical areas of subterranean catchments where water accumulates. aquifers l These aquifers lie beneath the Gaza strip and the West Bank: precisely the territories Israel seized in the 1969 war.Gaza strip
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 l Lake Kinneret700 MCM/year Lake Kinneret l The Mountain Aquifer370 MCM/year l The Coastal Aquifer320 MCM/year l All other sources410 MCM/year l Total average1,800 MCM/year l "Israel's Chronic Water Problem“Israel's Chronic Water Problem Annual water uptake by the Israelis
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 International law l The West Bank and Gaza are occupied territories, (Under international law) (Under international law) l Geneva Conventions-which govern the appropriate use of occupied territories - forbid moving people into an occupied territory. l That's precisely what Israel's settlement program did. Israel then proceeded to siphon the water of the West Bank away from its native Palestinian population, to the new settler population.
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Water consumption Helsinki Rules l At present, Israelis receive five times as much water per person as Palestinians.five times l In Gaza, the disparity is even more striking, with settlers getting seven times as much water as their Palestinian neighbors. l Stated differently, on average, Israelis get liters per person per day, while Palestinians in the West Bank get liters per person per day. The minimum quantity of water recommended by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Health Organization for household and urban use alone is 100 liters per person per day....The minimum quantity
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Israeli/ Palestinian network l Israel did hook some Palestinian towns into the water network - although nearly 30% of Palestinian homes have yet to be connected - but it did not provide appropriate maintenance work, with the result that, today, as much as half of the water meant to supply some Palestinian towns may be lost to leaking pipes (B'Tselem). The country also gave Israelis and settlers priority access to water: In the summer, when water is scarce, the Israeli water company Mekorot shuts the valves of the main pipelines supplying Palestinian towns so that Israeli supplies remain unaffected.
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Conclusions l We didn’t learn anything from the past l Diverting the Jordan River was catastrophe for all, shouldn’t Israelis learn from it? l Drying the Huleh lake was not also the best project that was done at that time. l Force and unilateral activities (alone dissection) will not solve the problems in long term l Some of our historical resources will not be existing in the near future: the Dead Sea & Jordan RiverDead Sea Jordan River l Sovereign rights a fair and equitable solution l Conflict of distrust l Data and information gaps: centralization and control l International Observers & Joint Commission (IJC) in this case didn’t work
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Crossboundary Water Resources
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Categories of Conflicts l Factual disagreements (Berhamer) *differences in opinions of certain activities l Conflicting goals (Warfield, 1993) water management´s values -environmental & hydropower upstream & downstream countries sharing of costs of common infrastructure. l Relational aspects struggle and use of force
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Overall development of the International Water Law and international conventions Overall development of the International Water Law and international conventions ©Asheesh Several international initiatives and agreements Helsinki Rules Basis for international negotiations on non- navigational water use Adopted by the International Law Association (ILA) 1986 Supplemented by the Seoul Rules concerning international ground waters International Law Commission’s (ILC) Rules Mirror of the Helsinki Rules with few exceptions Convention on the Law of Non- Navigational Uses of the Water Courses 1997 Convention on the Law of Non- Navigational Uses of the Water Courses May May 2000 for signature
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Categories of Scarcity Index 1 (m 3 per capita) Category/ Condition 1 index 2 (m 3 per capita) Category/ Condition 2 >1700No stress<1000Scarcity Stress<1667Stress Scarcity>1667Abundance <500Absolute scarcity
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Table 2. The population, growth rate, and the minimum water requirement (MWR) for the Middle Eastern countries estimates for 2000 and 2020 (Isaac& Shuval 1994 modified by Asheesh June, 2000). Area Population in 2000 (mil) Population in 2020 (mil) water resource potential (Mm3/yr) total water per capita per year in 2000 (m3/P/Yr) total water per capita per year 2020 (m3/P/Yr) total MWR in 2020 (Mm3/Yr) Total excess or shortage (Mm3/yr) Growth rate (%) Israel Jordan Palestine Syria Lebanon Turkey Egypt
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Water resources cross per capital l Israel344 m 3 /year l Jordan244 m 3 /year l Palestine 93 m 3 /year l Total681 m 3 /year
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 The Dead Sea
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008 Jordan River
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008
Where the Water Is
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008
Conflict Factual disagreement Disagreement on course of action Conflict about goals Relational aspects
©Asheesh/ Montpellier CEDEX 5 - France2008
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