Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Johnson_Territory 1_Hydropolitics | Riparian Water Rights
Territory: The Jordan River
When the physical border itself is a resource, tensions quickly escalate over control
More than 260 of the world’s river basins are international in scope
Potable water is among the world’s most valued resources, and it is necessary not only for life, but also for nearly every industry. 1.1 billion people do not have adequate access to safe water. In addition, many populations do not have direct control over their fresh water source, leading to tension and territory disputes. For example, the Tibetan Plateau is the source of a watershed that serves nearly a quarter of the world’s population; this region and others, like the middle east and northern Africa have many disputes over territory control.
Actors: All types of actors: nations, communities, regions, states, corporations, and individuals. In this case, mainly Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, & Syria.
Legal Instruments: There are almost no international laws governing water use, and so water laws typically take the form of a “transboundary water treaty.” When international bodies are involved, they are the UN and the World Bank. In this case, the ONLY treaty is the 1994 Peace treaty between Israel and Jordan. Israel agreed to give Jordan 50,000,000 cubic metres of water each year and for Jordan to own 75% of the water from the Yarmouk River. Both countries could develop other water resources and reservoirs and agreed to help each other survive droughts.
Complications: Israel only has formal agreements with two Arab countries; Egypt and Jordan. Water is a major contributor to middle east conflict between these nations.
Case Studies, Possibilities for intervention:
A water resource across the Jordan- shared by both Israel and Jordan.
Hydroelectric Power Station on the Iller River, Kempten, Germany, Becker Architects
Sources: “Analysis: Middle East water wars” BBC.com: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2949768.stm “International Cooperation” http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Hy-La/International-Cooperation.html