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Sarah E. Friedman Kenyon College 2010 “Just as Possible: Water and Prospects for Peace in Israel and the West Bank� word count: (914) 523-7975 Current mailing address: 250 Broome St. #12 New York, NY 10002 Permanent mailing address: 28 Circle Road Scarsdale, NY 10583

An alternative to the commons need not be perfect just to be preferable. … Injustice is preferable to total ruin.i -Garrett Hardin When Garrett Hardin wrote these words in 1968, predicting that if all who are entitled to take freely from the commons do so, everyone will suffer, he unwittingly evoked what is now one of the central problems in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the situation stands, if Israel and the Palestinian National Authority each pursues its own interests, trying to acquire the water needed for the domestic and agricultural use of its citizens and industrial use, the interests of both will be thwarted in the long term. Successfully addressing water issues is not only critical to domestic harmony and economic development, but also a useful and necessary step in the peace process. The Water Crisis Water is not, strictly speaking, a finite resource, but its regeneration process is very gradual. Water resources, especially those shared by rivals, are not amenable to the same type of energetic reclamation/installation movement employed by the Jewish National Fund to develop forests. Forests develop over time, and humans can both disrupt and initiate this process. Freshwater resources are less flexible. Once defiled and depleted, they can only be fully restored by time and nature. The time scale on which humans operate is a blink of the eye in the lifetime of a river, and although concentrated efforts to sanitize polluted streams can be effective, no practical technology can yet compensate for the depletion of a source. Avoiding pollution and depletion in the first place is easier — and infinitely more beneficial to humans and to nature. Water scarcity has always imposed severe limits on life in historic Palestine. In 1947, the Arab Office of London claimed that despite its abundance of land, Palestine’s water scarcity rendered it unable to support its population even before Zionist immigrants began to settle there.ii Today, the region faces the same problem, exacerbated beyond the Arab Office’s or anyone’s expectations. The riparians of the Jordan River have one of the lowest per capita water availability rates in the world. The region has a decreasing water supply but a rapidly growing population — 2.2 percent annual growth in the West Bank iii and 1.7 percent in Israeliv — with rising demand to match.v Climatic changes and development projects that divert the Jordan’s tributaries have decreased the river’s water supply drastically in the last century, to 2 percent of its capacity today, vi down from 10 percent of its capacity just five years ago. vii The overpumping of aquifers beyond their annual recharge capacity further exacerbates the shortage. And because pollution is flowing consistently into dwindling freshwater, water sources are increasingly not only scarce but also unsanitary.


The Political Roots of the Water Crisis Historical mismanagement, economic issues, and political issues play a large role in today’s dysfunctional state of water access. The water table beneath Israel’s coastal plain was falling as early as 1947.viii Generations later, corrections have not been made, and Israel now boasts the distinction of having made the Earth Policy Institute’s 15country “Countries Overpumping Aquifers in 2009” list.ix Short-sighted policies exacerbated the problem: industrialization coupled with socialist ideas created large, government-owned corporations guilty of extensive mistreatment of the environment but nevertheless enjoying “various forms of environmental immunity.”x Compounding that problem were Israel’s ideological attachment to agriculture and the fact that municipal governments, not the national government, profited from water sales and thus had a financial incentive not to encourage conservation.xi In the late 1980s, State Comptroller Miriam Ben-Porat reported: “Water allocation, particularly to agriculture, in a quantity that exceeds the water that is replenished from rains on an average basis, is what caused the overpumping and the liquidation of operational reserves.”xii Her warning was disregarded. The Israeli government never took a strong enough stand to discourage people from using more water than the country had to offer. Not held accountable for its actions, Israel has depleted not only its own water sources, but also those of the Palestinians. Before 1967, there were 774 functioning wells used by West Bank Palestinians; by 2002, only 321 remained in use. xiii Some of this loss is due to natural drying, but most can be traced to political maneuvers. Because of the way in which Israel has carved up the land it captured in the Six-Day War — for Jewish settlements, military uses, and most recently to build the security wall — some Palestinian villages have been separated from their wells, including fifteen in Baqa aSharqiya alone.xiv In that war, Israel gained control over all the Jordan River tributaries; once in control of these water sources, however, it did not institute sustainable policies. Instead, Israel built water systems in “hundreds of villages” in the West Bank and Gaza and allowed forty wells to be drilled, despite the knowledge that more drilling could salinate existing wells.xv Since then, Israel has mostly forbidden Palestinians from sinking new wells,xvi and all two hundred applications for new wells put in since 1993 have been denied.xvii Denial of applications is not just a power play: even the best place in which to drill the West Bank’s Eastern Aquifer, a spot in the Jordan Valley, now makes for a risky investment. The water table is “a third to a half a mile down” and drilling is “just not economical,” according to Clemens Messerschmid, who works for the British Department for International Development and the Palestinian Water Authority. xviii According to Messerschmid, aid agencies no longer want to drill wells because at $1,000 a yard with no guarantee of finding water, they are too expensive and precarious an investment. To pump water from the sunken water table up to villages, USAID uses oil-


industry pumps instead of the less capacious water pumps. xix Even with powerful pumps, however, this aquifer may be able to provide only up to 24,000 acre-feet of water per year, a quarter of the estimation discussed in the Oslo Accords xx and certainly not enough to insure the well-being of those living in the West Bank – particularly the Palestinians. A Human Rights Issue Although both Palestinians and Israelis living in the West bank face a water shortage, for Palestinians the crisis is much more severe, both in terms of water quantity and quality. Two main water sources run through Israeli and West Bank territory: the Mountain Aquifer and the Jordan River System. The former supplies a quarter of Israel and its settlements’ total water and all of the West Bank Palestinians’ water, while the latter supplies a third of Israel’s total water and none of the Palestinians’ water. xxi Although Israel takes only a quarter of its supply from the Mountain Aquifer, it uses 80 percent of that source’s water, leaving the Palestinians only 20 percent as their entire water supply.xxii The annual recharge rate of the Mountain Aquifer is 615 MCM, of which Israelis use 490 MCM and Palestinians use 125 MCM, as of 2004. xxiii Israel allocates fifteen times more water to Jewish settlers than to their Palestinian neighbors. The disparity between West Bank Palestinians and Israelis living in Israel proper is less than that, but still significant: including industrial usage, of which Israel has much more, water consumption per capita is more than five times higher by Israelis than by West Bank Palestinians — 330 liters per person per day compared to 60 liters xxiv — and by some accounts is between six and seven times higher. xxv Two hundred and fifty Palestinian villages and camps do not have piped water systems, xxvi meaning that 10.4 percent of West Bank Palestinians — 2,191,100 people — do not receive running water (according to late 2007 statistics).xxvii Even in some areas that are connected to a running-water network, there are frequent shortages and in the summer months some regional Palestinian authorities ration water, providing it to villages on a rotation basis. Those left without water must purchase it from private sellers, who often sell water for five to six times the government’s rate. xxviii Israeli military control in the West Bank also hampers the efficiency of outside aid to needy villages. In spring 2009, the World Bank was forced to invest in quick-fix projects with little long-term value, according to Pier Mantovani, a Middle East water specialist for the Bank, because it could not effectively set up the sustainable projects truly needed.xxix Given that the Palestinians lack basic infrastructure like water management systems, they cannot competently address the health crisis that undersupply of clean water Every year, Palestinian and Israeli communities situated on the Mountain Aquifer discharge 60 MCM of untreated or poorly treated sewage that later ends up in the communities’ water supplies.xxxi Strikingly, in the dry summer months when the entire region is parched, Mekorot, the Israeli National Water Company that provides about 50 percent of West Bank water,xxxii sometimes cuts off water supply to Palestinian villages. In 2005, for example, the village of Qira, was denied water for three consecutive weeks. Children in the village suffered from kidney failure and other health problems caused by


drinking unsanitary water.xxxiii In this case, irresponsible administration results in more than humiliation or inconvenience. These children and others in the area are being denied a basic human right: access to water.xxxiv. International law requires Israel to protect the human rights, including access to adequate water, of its occupied population. xxxv Article 20 of the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, of which Israel was an original signatory, protects the rights of stateless persons to access “products in short supply,” which in the Middle East surely includes water, to the same extent as nationals. xxxvi But international law also gives priority to “existing” and “historical” water uses,xxxvii a consideration that would seem to favor Israel’s interests as the current administrator and as the developer of most of Israel-Palestine’s modern water sources. Certainly, the existing water uses reflect unfair allocations made by the vastly more powerful Israel. When considering “historical” water uses, however, the issues become murkier. Both peoples have such intense, intimate connections to the land of historic Palestine that it is unclear which takes historical precedence. If their historical claims are equal, priority should be shared. Nevertheless, because water legally is a human right, an equitable system of water allocation must be established in spite of existing or historical claims. This is also the only sustainable option. By restricting access to water within the West Bank — not to mention movement of people and transport of supplies — Israel is disregarding a long-established international obligation, embroiling itself in an ever-worsening PR and political disaster, belying its founding principles, and violating human rights in its occupied territories. Signs of hope Despite the deep historical distrust that exists between Israelis and Palestinians, and current human rights violations, there are three important reasons to believe that an equitable system of water management can be achieved: (1) Israel has historically made considerable efforts to conserve water; (2) Israel and Palestine have some history of cooperation on water issues; and (3) Israel is taking new efforts to limit its water consumption. First, the discrepancy between Jewish and Palestinian water consumption was not always so great. The Yishuv started out with no water infrastructure at all, and it was not until the 1960s that most kibbutzim “permitted their members the frivolity of a flush toilet.”xxxviii Remarkably, despite Israel’s explosive industrial and infrastructural growth and skyrocketed affluence, annual per capita water use has remained steady at around 300 cubic meters since 1948. The country has maintained this level through successful water conservation campaigns, reuse of 84 percent of its wastewater,xxxix improved water efficiency through better piping and campaigns to retrofit toilets, faucets, and showerheads, and a switch from growing to importing most of its grain. xl Thus although the figures of water-use discrepancy are startling, Israel has always recognized its vulnerability to water shortage and taken significant, if insufficient, steps toward water conservation. A second reason for hope is two examples of cooperation between Israel and


Palestine on water issues: the Joint Water Commission and Friends of the Earth Middle East – EcoPeace (FoEME). One of the only concrete, lasting gains to come out of the Oslo Accords was the establishment of the Joint Water Committee (JWC), an egalitarian body to oversee general management of all water resources and sewage systems in the West Bank. Nevertheless, the JWC has plenty of flaws. For example, the Oslo Accords established no structure to deal with disputes within the group, so because both sides are represented evenly, either side has the power to veto a measure supported entirely by the other side.xli Additionally, under Oslo, although the Palestinian National Authority (PA) gained exclusive control of systems used only by Palestinians, Israel retained control of those used only by settlers and those used by both settlers and Palestinians. Still, the JWC proved to be an indispensable institution during the Second Intifada. In the midst of renewed hatred and violence, the JWC issued the Joint Declaration for Keeping Water Infrastructure out of the Cycle of Violence, which stated: The two sides wish to bring to public attention that the Palestinian and Israeli water and wastewater infrastructure is mostly intertwined and serves both populations. Any damage to such systems will harm both Palestinians and Israelis. … Both sides wish to take this opportunity to reiterate their commitment to continued cooperation in the water and wastewater spheres.xlii The JWC has proved the desire of both governments to cooperate on water issues, although implementation is far from perfect. The non-profit sector provides a more successful example of cooperation: Friends of the Earth Middle East – EcoPeace (FoEME), an Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian environmentalist NGO focusing on water issues. FoEME conducts its work in a coordinated and egalitarian manner among its three regional branches, and it is this shared commitment to environmental and political principles that has allowed FoEME to survive when likeminded organizations have failed. Its community-based capacity- and relationship-building efforts are what define FoEME today. The most significant grassroots project it has carried out is the Good Water Makes Good Neighbors initiative, called Good Water Neighbors (GWN) for short. GWN was established in 2001 and continues today. According to a 2005 FoEME publication, GWN aims to: …create real improvement within the water sector by building trust and understanding that will lead to common problem solving and peace building between communities. This is done with the expectation that the trust and understanding built around water issues will advance cooperative problem solving and peace building on a broad range of issues beyond water resources.xliii To date, FoEME has established projects connecting twenty-five Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian communities with a partner community that shares a water source across a national borderxliv — including nine in ten months. In each of these communities, FoEME organizes youth groups, workshops, and mayors’ forums to educate riparian communities about their shared environmental issues and ways to


address them that simultaneously promote peace. xlv According to an FoEME questionnaire about GWN, 93 percent of participating youth said they “very much” enjoyed “meeting and getting to know better students from the neighboring communities.” Seventy percent said it was “somewhat difficult” to communicate with each other, but 78 percent said that they became friends with youth from neighboring communities during workshops.xlvi Considering that one of the project’s main challenges was finding communities willing to work with the other side — in Palestine and Jordan, blacklists identified people cooperating with Israelisxlvii — these impressive statistics speak to the power of cross-border cooperation in changing political attitudes. The third reason for hope is a new Israeli water initiative with an eye to the future. In January 2010 the Water Authority Council voted to significantly increase water prices over the next year. A 25 percent price increase for domestically used water was put into effect on Jan. 1, and on July 1 the price will increase another 16 percent. On Jan. 1, 2011, the price will rise by a final 2 percent. The new price of domestic water will reflect the full costs of supplying, transporting, and distributing water, as well as purchasing desalinated water and improving municipal water and sewage infrastructure. xlviii This is an extraordinary measure, compared to the former water-pricing system: water prices used to not even cover Mekorot’s pumping and transport costs. The company stayed afloat only due to borrowing from the government at subsidized interest rates and receiving periodic government bailouts.xlix These price hikes are a long-awaited change, and although the long-term consequences are yet to be seen, making Israelis aware of the urgency of water preservation by pressuring their wallets instead of their consciousness is a crucial first step that the government should be applauded for finally taking. The West Bank Palestinians already deeply understand the shortages because they suffer most from them, and now that water prices in Israel more accurately reflect the vanishing resource’s true cost, perhaps the issue will gain even more public attention in Israel. l Yet re-pricing domestic water is only the first step; many changes are still needed. Next Steps Although Israel has made great progress in addressing the crisis and cooperating with the Palestinians, much more needs to be done. Israel must change its agricultural policies and increase its use of greywater, and, most importantly, the two sides must work together to establish a joint water management system. Agricultural subsidies are incredibly costly to the environment. Israel’s renewable water resources used annually total 1.7 billion cubic meters, 65 percent of which is used for Because water for agriculture is so cheap, farmers can grow water-intensive crops, such as watermelons, citrus, and wheat, for export even in waterscarce areas such as the Negev. Farmers may benefit economically, but the country as a whole and the environment lose out; by exporting these water-intensive crops, Israel effectively exports 100 MCM of water annually, even though it imports more grain than it used to. That water loss negates what the country’s desalination plants produce, lii making the entire enterprise just a band-aid for Israel’s misuse of its most precious resource.liii If Israel imported these products instead, choosing practical economics over


ideology, its precious water resources could be put to other uses that might benefit more of the population in the long term. The recycling of “greywater,” a type of wastewater more sanitary than sewage water, offers another excellent opportunity for the Israeli government, which until recently resisted implementing the technology for domestic purposes despite already recycling 75 percent of its “black” (sewage) water for agricultural use, “by far the best rate in the world.”liv Wastewater recycling already has been immensely helpful in agriculture; if Israeli agriculture drew solely on the already overdrawn aquifers and depleted freshwater sources, the region might already be beyond ecological salvation. It is a tested and scalable technology, and there is a clear economic incentive: cities can get rid of unwanted wastewater by selling it treated to farmers, lv allowing the highly valued agricultural sector to grow stronger crops than freshwater, which has fewer nutrients than greywater,lvi would allow. In 2004, wastewater irrigated 705,252 dunams, lvii or about 174,271 acres. One concern in implementing a large-scale greywater recycling program is that it would throw off the proportions of grey and black water recycled for agricultural use. The NGO Shomera for a Better Environment is heading the pilot project to recycle greywater for use in urban areas, but in order to meet Health Ministry standards (and therefore be able to include this government body in the effort), the project focuses on shower water only. The Health Ministry has previously forbidden greywater recycling on the grounds that even recycled water has an “unacceptably high bacteria count.” lviii Now, however, it is realizing that because water scarcity in Israel might prompt individuals to pursue homemade — and therefore likely ineffective or unsafe — greywater recycling projects, it will in the long run be beneficial to pursue a government initiative.lix The potential water savings from greywater recycling are small but not at all negligible: once 20 to 30 percent of Israeli households use recycled greywater, Israel will save as much water as a small city uses annually. lx To give an idea of scale, a small city might be Beer Sheva, with a population of 186,800, about a quarter of the population of Israel’s largest city, Jerusalem.lxi Shomera for a Better Environment gives an even more optimistic estimate: according to its website, if by 2025, 30 percent of Israeli households recycle their greywater, Israel will save enough water to supply a mid-sized city of 300,000 residents. Every drop counts, and the government’s dedication to a greywater initiative will give water policy renewed direction. While changes to agricultural policy and greywater recycling are important, the most critical step needed to solve the water crisis is a joint water management system. Indeed, this may be the only viable solution to the problem. While there have been many proposals to solve the problem by creating new water sources or importing water from Turkey, in the long term, the only sustainable solution will be one that forces Israelis and Palestinians to work together in their home environment and respect each other’s rights. They cannot trust the resolution of so great an issue to nascent technologies nor to the goodwill of other countries. According to Naser I. Faruqui, “most developing countries do not yet have the legal, institutional, regulatory, and economic prerequisites to establish sustainable and


equitable water markets.”lxii Creating a single joint water market might be a short-lived solution and counterproductive in the long run, as the West Bank will hopefully become part of the future Palestinian state with its own market, but Faruqui’s idea applies to water management systems as well. The Israeli government could help West Bank Palestinians avoid the fate Faruqui describes and gain regional and international credibility for Israel by encouraging innovation and spearheading the creation of a joint water management system. A joint management scheme in which shared aquifers would be public utilities would appropriately address groundwater disputes, which in general are more difficult to solve than surface water conflicts. The Israeli government and the PA would negotiate a set amount of water each could extract from shared aquifers annually. Price would be based on per capita consumption, and the two governments would share profits in order to sidestep the issue of sovereignty.lxiii Realistically, because Israel is more technologically and economically powerful, a joint water management system developed now would likely favor Israel’s interests, even if only economically and not to the physical detriment of Palestinians. As Israel currently has the significant water advantage, however, a joint management system would also diminish Israel’s current supply of freshwater. Still, if Israel is willing to take the lead, this solution could greatly improve day-to-day living for Palestinians and long-term prospects for peace and security on both sides. Israel Must Take the Lead Palestinians and Israelis, who already do not trust each other in general, have little incentive to trust each other when it comes to the scarce but vital resource of water. Yet the end game is so critical that both sides must take risks along the way. According to Raj’a Shehade, an upper-class Christian West Bank Palestinian lawyer and writer, the West Bank Palestinians’ weaker position precludes them from offering “creative thinking” about conflict resolution. “For now, we are not in a position to propose attractive or inspired things,” Shehade said. “We can only respond to proposals that reconfirm our humanity and our personal and national pride.”lxiv By contrast, Israel is established as a state and more powerful economically; it is thus in a better position than the Palestinians to spearhead a joint water initiative. In its 62 years of statehood, Israel has grown its economy 50-foldlxv and maintained its security by turning its greatest liabilities into assets: besieged by hostile neighbors, the small, new country created one of the greatest militaries in the world, and in a barren environment, Israelis became innovators and experts in drip irrigation, desalination, and desert agriculture. lxvi This is not to say that Palestinians hold no responsibility for participating in cooperative efforts or that they are incapable of producing intelligent and creative ideas. In the current political situation, however, whether or not the responsibility for creating environmental peace initiatives should fall to Israel, it likely will. There will be Palestinians eager to join the effort to work toward peace through the environment, but Israel must be the catalyst. Peace cannot be made from nothing. In this case, it must start with the cooperation of people over vital issues related to politics but rooted in objective science.


Peace, when it comes, will be shared by the entirety of both populations, and thus now and in the future, natural resources should not belong to one party alone. If Israelis and Palestinians together conceived of and executed a profitable enterprise focused on environmental issues, they would have the groundwork to establish ever more complicated collaborations. As Uri Savir, Israel’s chief negotiator during the Oslo process, writes: “Cooperation in joint ventures generates more effective partnerships and cements common interests between former enemies.”lxvii A joint solution to the water crisis can be an important step in the peacebuilding process. If this sounds ignorant of political realities, think of it as the extension of Israel’s founding ideology, undeniably quixotic but ultimately successful nonetheless. The basic Zionist dream of creating a Jewish state has already been achieved. The new Zionism is about innovation,lxviii and if political and technological cooperation on water issues with Palestinians is what it takes to ensure Israel’s security, the state should embrace the opportunity. No matter how painful, the process of peacebuilding must continue and be accelerated. Proponents of peace must take action as decisive as its enemies’ if peace is to be achieved. The drive for environmental peacebuilding must be active, strong, and prevalent enough to combat the feeling of desperation that pervades the lives of so many Palestinians and Israelis: “Words, hopes, temperate ideas have meager strength when the daily reality is so brutal, and when people are literally being blown apart.” lxix Cooperation on water issues will build the foundations for future political negotiations, and though it may not be appealing to either side, they must work together to devise an acceptable, if not completely just, compromise that will trump the “total ruin” of which Garrett Hardin warned.



Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (Dec. 1968): 1247. The Arab Office, London, The Future of Palestine (Westport: Hyperion Press, Inc., 1947), 41. iii Central Intelligence Agency, “West Bank,” The World Factbook, iv Central Intelligence Agency, “Israel,” The World Factbook, v Karen Assaf, “Joint Projects and Programs Promoting Middle East Cooperation and Knowledge in the Water Sector” (paper presented at the second Israeli-Palestinian-International Conference: Water for Life in the Middle East, Turkey, October 10-14, 2004), vi Dr. Sarig Gafny, et. al, “Towards a Living Jordan River: An Environmental Flows Report on the Rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River” (EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East: Amman, Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, May 2010), 23. vii EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East, “Good Water Neighbors: A Model for Community Development Programs in Regions of Conflict: Developing Cross-Border Community Partnerships to Overcome Conflict and Advance Human Security,” August 2005, 5. viii The Arab Office, London, 159. ix Earth Policy Institute, “Countries Overpumping Aquifers in 2009,” Data Center — Natural Systems, x Alon Tal, Pollution in a Promised Land: An Environmental History of Israel, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 68. xi Ibid., 232. xii Quoted in Alon Tal, 236. xiii Fred Pearce, “Palestine: Poisoning the Wells of Peace,” in When the Rivers Run Dry: Water — The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century (Boston: Beacon Press, 2006), 160. xiv Ibid., 162. xv Alon Tal, 357. xvi Fred Pearce, 160. xvii Zaina Awad, “The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: What It Means For West Bank Water Rights, MIFTAH.ORG: Your Key to Palestine. Id=18712&CategoryId=21. xviii Fred Pearce, 161. xix Ibid. xx Ibid., 162. xxi B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, “The shared water sources and the control over them,” The Water Crisis, xxii B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, “Villages not connected to a water network,” The Water Crisis, xxiii Nir Becke and Edna Loehman, “Groundwater Management in a Cross Boundary Case: Application to Israel and the Palestinian Authority” (paper presented at the second Israeli-Palestinian-International Conference: Water for Life in the Middle East, Turkey, October 10-14, 2004), xxiv B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, “The gap in water consumption between Palestinians and Israelis,” The Water Crisis, xxv Edy Kaufmann, “Second Track/Citizens Diplomacy — Concepts and Techniques of Conflict Transformation,” presentation at University of Haifa, Israel, May 17, 2009. xxvi Zaina Awad. xxvii B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, “Statistics,” The Water Crisis, xxviii B’Tselem, “Villages not connected to a water network.” xxix Rory McCarthy, “Israelis get four-fifths of scarce West Bank water, says World Bank: Palestinians losing out in access to vital shared aquifer in the occupied territories,” The Guardian, May 27, 2009, xxx Zaina Awad. xxxi EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East, “Good Water Neighbors,” 5. xxxii B’Tselem, “Villages not connected to a water network.” ii


Fareed Taamallah, “A Thirst for West Bank Water,” The Nation, June 9, 2006, environment section, xxxiv World Health Organization, The Right to Water, 2003, 7, xxxv B’Tselem, “Villages not connected to a water network.” xxxvi United Nations, “Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons,” Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, xxxvii Elisha Kally with Gideon Fishelson, Water and Peace. Water Resources and the Arab-Israeli Peace Process. (Westport: Praeger Publishers and the Armand Hammer Fund for Economic Cooperation in the Middle East at Tel Aviv University, 1993), 53. xxxviii Alon Tal, 219. xxxix Yosef Dreizin, “Wastewater Reuse in Israel — Risk Assessment,” report for Water Desalination Administration of the Water Commission, 299, xl Saul Arlosoroff, “Water Demand Management — A Strategy to Deal with Water Scarcity: Israel: A Case Study” (paper presented at the second Israeli-Palestinian-International Conference: Water for Life in the Middle East, Turkey, October 1014, 2004), xli B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, “Water Issues under the Oslo Accords,” The Water Crisis, xlii Noah Kinarty and Nabil El-Sherif, “Joint Declaration for Keeping Water Infrastructure out of the Cycle of Violence,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, %20Call%20to%20Protect%20Water%20Sup. xliii EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East, “Good Water Neighbors,” 3. xliv EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East, “Good Water Neighbors,” module=projects&project_id=32 (accessed October 9, 2010). xlv Ibid., 16. xlvi EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East, “Environmental Peacebuilding Theory and Practice,” January 2008, 22. xlvii EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East, “Good Water Neighbors,” 10. xlviii Avi Bar-Eli, “Water prices to rise almost 50% by 2011,” Haaretz, December 7, 2009, xlix Steven Plaut, “Water Policy in Israel,” Policy Studies 47 (July 2000): 5, l Francesca de Châtel, “Perceptions of Water in the Middle East: The Role of Religion, Politics, and Technology in Concealing the Growing Water Scarcity,” in Water Resources in the Middle East: Israel-Palestinian Water Issues from Conflict to Cooperation, ed. Hassan Dweik and Hillel Shuval (New York: Springer, 2007), 58. li Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “THE Land: Water,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (accessed October 10, 2010). lii Kevin Peraino and Joanna Chen, “Special Report: The Myth of Water,” Newsweek, July 7-14, 2008, liii Desalination is an interesting and highly controversial approach to the neighbors’ water crisis. Although much more research and physical labor must be done before it can be a viable and reliable water source for a population of 2.5 million in the West Bank and 7.2 million in Israel, projects have been successful and it is increasingly being discussed as a workable option. In 2004, Israel proposed an $800 million plan to provide the West Bank with desalinated water produced in a plant on the Mediterranean. (The underlying assumption is that Israel would be able to continue using the freshwater it already uses.) The cost would likely be covered by USAID; Israel’s contribution would be ensuring the safe passage of desalinated water to the West Bank. Both Palestinian and Israeli experts decried the plan as technologically irrational, and Chairman of the Palestinian Water Authority Nabil Sharif said, “Desalination cannot be a substitute for our rights of access to the western aquifer [part of the Mountain Aquifer] and the Jordan River” (Fred Pearce, 164-5). On the upside, however, it has been suggested that large-scale desalination may help assuage the effects of global warming by removing water from the ocean before sea levels rise drastically (Edy Kaufmann). Because of the expense and the uncertainty tied to this largely untested technology, however, desalination should be considered a back-up plan and most resources should be devoted to other solutions. liv Ehud Zion Waldoks, “Grey water recycling pilot project under way: Reusing shower water could save 50 million cubic meters per year, experts say,” The Jerusalem Post, May 27, 2009, news section. lv Alon Tal, 218. lvi World Health Organization, Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater Excreta and Greywater. Volume 1:Policy and Regulatory Aspects (Geneva: World Health Organization, 2006).

lvii lviii

Yosef Dreizin. Ehud Zion Waldoks.



Ibid. “Principal Cities,” Israel, lxii Naser I. Faruqui, “Islam and Water Management: Overview and Principles,” in Water Management in Islam, ed. Naser I. Faruqui, Asit K. Biswas, and Murad J. Bino (New York: United Nations University Press, 2001), 17. lxiii Edy Kaufmann. lxiv David Grossman, The Yellow Wind, trans. Haim Watzman (New York: Picador, 1988), 156. lxv Dan Senor and Saul Singer, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle (New York: Twelve, 2009), loc. 282 (read on Kindle). lxvi Ibid., loc. 1694. lxvii Uri Savir, Peace First: A New Model to End War (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2008), loc. 196 (read on Kindle). lxviii Dan Senor and Saul Singer, loc. 3427. lxix David Grossman, 220. lxi