The Palestinian Water Crisis: Status, Projections and Potential for Resolution

Posted in 2002 Papers

The Middle East is renowned as a water scarce region. The severity of the problem in Palestine is not a result of climatic misfortune, however, but of regional political problems: specifically, shortage has been caused by the Israeli occupation policies. Palestinians' water supplies are currently insufficient to cater for demand, and are increasingly degraded. Projected regional population and demand increases are high, rendering coming to grips with the water shortage urgent. Any attempt at resolution should consider three related areas within a single integrated water management formula. Firstly, attempts must be made to resolve allocation disputes, governed by principles of international water law; secondly, supplies must be enhanced, either through water import or water catchment; and thirdly, conservation and appropriate utilization must be emphasized. Only if the water shortage is analyzed in such an integrated manner will it be possible to ensure full resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli hydropolitical dispute.

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