Fresh water is a fundamental resource, vital for an organism's
survival. There is probably no other resource on earth as vital as water
(except perhaps for air) for any extant species. Humans,  like any other
organism, must have access to water. Water is integral to all ecological
and social activities. It is required for food and energy production,
transportation, waste disposal, industrial development and public health.
However, fresh water is unevenly and patchily distributed across the
surface of the earth, with some regions having either ample supply or
unlimited access whilst other regions suffer from unpredictable rainfall
patterns and long periods of drought. As human populations grow and their
activities continue to alter environmental patterns, the demand for fresh
water will increase as the availability and quality of fresh water
decreases. These conditions make it more likely for water related
conflicts to occur between nation states that are forced to share a common
water resource under the strain of locally increasing populations. In the
semi arid and arid regions of the globe conflict over water seems a more
and more likely prospect. Indeed, the next great war might be fought over
water. The incompleteness of available data and uncertainties about the
role that environmental degradation will have on the water supply and
demand further complicate matters.
	Where water is scarce, competition for limited supplies can lead
nations to see access to water as a matter of national security (Gleik,
1993). As early as the mid-1980s, U.S. government intelligence services
estimated that there were at least 10 places in the world where war could
break out over dwindling shared water resources; the majority of these
locations are  in the Middle East (Starr, 1991). Jordan, Israel, Cyprus,
Malta and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula are sliding into the
perilous zone where all available fresh surface and ground water supplies
will be fully utilized (Starr, 1991).
	Across the globe many rivers, lakes and ground water aquifers are
shared by two or more nations. This geographical fact has led to the
geopolitical reality of disputes over shared waters where the situation in
the Middle East (Nile, Jordan and Tigris-Euphrates) is just one such
example. Other regions where water disputes have or are likely to arise
are: the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra in southern Asia and the Colorado,
Rio Grande and Parana in the Americas. 

Some examples of water related disputes: a global view
	The following examples were down loaded and adapted from the
following web site:
The Water Dispute on the Ganges River 
	The Ganges River originates in the People's Republic of China,
passing through Nepal and India. It forms a boundary of 128 km between
India and Bangladesh, then flows 112 km within Bangladesh taking the name
Badhma, before joining the Jamuna-Brahmaputra. Afterwards it joins the
Meghna River before the combined flows empty into the Bay of Bengal. 
	The allocation of the Ganges waters constitutes the most important
aspect of the dispute between India and Bangladesh. Pakistan protested the
construction of the Farakka Dam in 1951, when it was announced that India
had planned to build it. Pakistan, at the same time, offered that the
planning of the utilization of such shared water resources be made by a UN
body and that the subject matter must be examined by the experts of both
countries. These proposals were not accepted by India and the construction
of the Farakka Dam started ten years later in 1961 and was completed in
1970. The matter of the allocation of the transboundary waters was
negotiated between India and Pakistan until Bangladesh gained its
independence in 1971. 
	In negotiations conducted after 1971, Bangladesh authorities
stated that they would not favor any temporary arrangement in the
allocation of the Ganges waters and have instead requested that there
should be a permanent solution to the matter, which would include all of
the shared water resources between the two countries. India and Bangladesh
agreed in November 1977 that 63 % of the Ganges' waters be allocated to
Bangladesh in the dry season. Indian officials have expressed that this
agreement has been realized on the understanding that a channel should be
constructed between the Brahmaputra and the Ganges Rivers which would lead
to an increase in the flows of the Ganges. Indian officials have further
emphasized that the riparian countries should utilize the waters in
accordance with the principles of justice and equity, taking into account
the population, land and needs of the countries. 
	India, moreover, has stated that if a country alleged that its
interests were harmed due to a decline in the amount of water, it should
be asked to prove this allegation. It further stressed that Bangladesh's
opposition to the construction of the Farakka Dam is unfounded and that
the construction of a dam is a natural right of any country. Indian
authorities further argue that the water, gathered behind a dam, belongs
to the country which constructed it and that no international rules have
yet been established to resolve such a conflict. They also stress that
efforts by the UN to codify the international rules applicable in such
disputes are still far from sufficient. In conclusion, it may be said that
India, regarding its conflict with Bangladesh, follows a policy in
accordance with the principle of equitable utilization. 

The Water Dispute Between the USA and Mexico 
	The dispute over the Rio Grande River flared up at the end of the
19th. century between the United States of America and Mexico. The office
of the Secretary of State, which was responsible at that time for the Rio
Grande dispute, asked the opinion of the Attorney General Judson Harmon on
the problem.
	Harmon was asked to comment in the light of international
practices, relating to the diversions made by the USA, on the part of the
Rio Grande River situated in its own territory. Harmon stated that the USA
has a legal right on the part of the Rio Grande River that flows within
its own territory (absolute sovereignty). By this he therefore indicated
that international law does not hold for the USA on the sharing of the
waters of the Rio Grande. Subsequently, these arguments regarding the
transboundary waters have been named the Harmon Doctrine. 
	The USA, after adopting a more flexible approach in recent years,
concluded its first agreement in 1906 with Mexico. A further agreement was
signed in 1944, whereby the USA undertook the obligation of allocating
certain amounts of water to Mexico from the Rio Grande, Colorado and
Tijuana Rivers (Knowlton, 1968). This agreement brought an end to the
disputes regarding the rivers between the USA and Mexico. The joint
utilization of the Colorado, Tijuana and Rio Grande Rivers was therefore
realized. Such an agreement guaranteed the rights of the upstream country
but at the same time allocation of the waters was regarded as if there
were no political boundary between the two countries. 
Disputes between Mexico and Guatemala 
	The Usumacinte, Suchiate and Grijalva Rivers originate in
Guatemala and flow into Mexican territory before emptying into the sea.
Mexico has proposed that the waters of these rivers be shared between the
two countries. It was only at the beginning of April 1990, that any
response was received from the Guatemalan government. 
	Guatemala accepted to negotiate on the sharing of the rivers, just
after Mexico started building a dam on the Suchiate River which has a
minimum flow of 20 mcm/s (mcm=million cubic meters) in the dry season and
a maximum flow of 200 mcm/s in the rainy season. According to the
information available, an agreement has not yet been reached, although the
negotiations are still continuing. It has been envisaged that the
agreement, intended to be signed sometime in the near future, will be
based on the principle of equitable, rational and optimum utilization. 

Environmental resources as international security threats
	As awareness for environmental problems increases so too does the
realization that environmental resources can become an issue of
international security. Where a resource occurs in limited supply and is
locally or regionally important for a number of peoples or countries such
a resource may become responsible for local instability. Such a situation
can escalate into open regional conflict becoming a threat to the
international community as a whole. Threats to security can include
resource and environmental problems that reduce the quality of life and
result in increased competition and tensions among sub national or
national groups (Gleik, 1993). Recent experience suggests that conflicts
are more likely to occur on the local and regional level and in developing
countries where common property resources may be both more critical to
survival and less easily replaced or supplemented (Lipshutz and Holdren,
1990). In addition, the economic, cultural and sociopolitical factors at
work in any given country or region will also play a large role in a
region's overall stability and security. 
	Because water is essential to survival,  many hold the position
that access to clean and fresh water is every person's inalienable right.
However, when translating this into a national context, all too often
countries take this stand point to mean their inalienable right to water
as opposed to other nations. Complicating this issue is the sometime
frustrating geographical fact that water ignores political boundaries
forcing countries that border, or contain a part of a river course within
its borders, to share a water resource whether they like it or not. To
date all across the world such riparian states are battling with this
contentious issue. Perhaps no where else is this issue more volatile and
liable to erupt into open hostile conflict as the region of the Middle
	Not only is water vital to survival it also provides a source of
economic and political strength. Under these conditions, ensuring access
to water provides a justification for going to war, and therefore water
supply systems can become a goal of military conquest (Falkenmark, 1986). 
	Gleik (1993) outlined the following characteristics that make
water likely to be a source of strategic rivalry:
	1)	the degree of scarcity
	2)	the extent to which the water supply is shared by more
than one region or state
	3)	the relative powers of the basin states
	4)	the ease of access to alternative fresh water sources.
The Middle East region with its many ideological, religious and
geographical disputes is an ideal candidate to match Gleik's (1993)
characteristics. However, disputes over the region's limited water
supplies is not a modern phenomenon. During the seventh century BC,
Ashurbanipal of Assyria (modern day Syria) seized control of water wells
as part of his strategy of desert warfare against Arabia (Drower, 1954).
In 689 BC Sennacherib of Assyria destroyed Babylon as retribution for the
death of his son by purposefully destroying the water supply canals of the
city (Drower, 1954). 
	The current water crisis plaguing the region can be traced back to
the arbitrary political division of the region into competing states by
the withdrawing  of the post-World War I colonial powers (Hillel, 1994).
The subsequent map of the region that arose disregarded the issue of water
as forming possible natural political boundaries. With the exception of
Lebanon, none of the states the colonial powers created was provided with
independent water resources, and no mechanisms were put in place for
coordination in the utilization of internationally shared water resources
(Hillel, 1994). The Tigris-Euphrates basin was sectioned irregularly and
placed in the domains of three competing states (Turkey, Syria and Iraq),
while the Jordan river was divided up among four states (Israel, Jordan,
the West Bank and Gaza and Syria) (Hillel, 1994). 
	One example should suffice to illustrate this crisis. In the 1950s
Syria tried to stop Israel from building its National Water Carrier, an
aqueduct to provide water to the extremely arid areas of southern Israel,
fighting broke out across the demilitarized zone, and when Syria tried to
divert the head waters of the Jordan in the mid-1960s, Israel used force,
including air strikes against the diversion facilities to prevent their
construction and operation (Naff and Matson, 1984). It was these military
actions that contributed to the outbreak of the 1967 war. 
	The disputes over water within the region are many and varied.
This project will serve to concentrate on two of these disputes: the
Tigris-Euphrates dispute among Turkey, Syria and Iraq and the Jordan river
and ground water dispute between Israel, the West Bank and Occupied
Territories, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The levels of water
scarcity existing in these countries is graphically represented in figure
1. An area comparison of the countries involved is contained in the map

Figure 1: A graphical visualization of the
water scarcity existing in the region. Adapted from: Falkenmark, M
and G. Lindh (1993). Water and Economic Development. In: Water In
Crisis. Gleik, P. H. Oxford University Press, New York.

Demographic and freshwater conditions for the region. Many factors contribute to the burgeoning water crisis in the region. As the populations of the countries continue to grow the demand for available fresh water is becoming perilously close to outstripping the demand and in Israel's case, this has already occurred in some instances. An exacerbating factor is the region's unpredictability in rainfall patterns. For most of the region the rainy season is short, 4-5 months. For Israel, Jordan and the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and Gaza rainfall is less than 2 inches per year and the region is characterized by dry cycles, 2-3 relatively rainy years followed by 2-3 years of drought (Fishelson, 1995). With populations predicted to increase, the stress on the average sustainable yield for fresh water is going to increase and the amount of water per capita will therefore decrease (Figures 2, 3 and 4). Figure 2: The current and expected population for the countries of the Middle East. Source: Fishelson, G. (1995). The value of freshwater in Israel, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. International Conference on the Peace Process and the Environment. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Figure 3: Current and expected fresh water according to the average sustainable yield (ASY). Source: Fishelson, G. (1995). The value of freshwater in Israel, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. International Conference on the Peace Process and the Environment. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Figure 4: Current and expected water amount per capita. Source: Fishelson, G. (1995). The value of freshwater in Israel, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. International Conference on the Peace Process and the Environment. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

With more mouths to feed the allocation of fresh water becomes a pressing problem. More mouths means more food and so more water needs to be allocated to agricultural production. This issue is especially true for Turkey, Syria and Iraq who have all independently embarked on ambitious irrigation projects on the Tigris-Euphrates river system to increase their agricultural capacity. For the riparian states along the Jordan river water allocation has become a balancing act between agriculture and domestic use as more of the population becomes urbanized (Figure 5). Figure 5: Fresh water withdrawal by sector for the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Source: World Resources Institute. (1992-93). A Guide to the Global Environment, Oxford University, New York.

In order to allocate sufficient water for each country's required needs depends not only on the available internal water supply but also the amount of water flowing into and from the countries. The allocation of water can immediately lead to issues of conflict as upstream states, by controlling the flow of a river course, inadvertently disadvantage those downstream states dependent on the same flow. This is all to true for the Middle East where the Tigris-Euphrates head waters originate in Turkey but empty into the sea at the Persian Gulf in Iraq, flowing through Syria on its way to the sea. Egypt is entirely dependent on the Nile River for practically all of its water requirements but is at the sometime mercy of the upstream states of Sudan and Ethiopia that contain within their borders the head waters of the Nile, the Blue and White Nile. Israel, Jordan and the Territories (the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights) are in an even worse position. They possess few internal renewable water resources and are all dependent on one river system, the Jordan which has its head waters originating outside of their territories in Lebanon and Syria. Figure 6 serves to illustrate this point. Demographically, economically and agriculturally all the countries of the region are highly dependent on the water resources that they are forced to share. In these countries, where the majority of their land mass is arid, most of the population lives either on the coastal plains or along the river courses. These areas have therefore seen the largest economic and agricultural expansion. As most of these countries activities are centered around shared water courses, they are vulnerable to hostilities from their neighbors. Each vehemently insists on its "rightful" share of the available water resources, therefore raising the concern over international security. The maps in the map appendix show the population distributions, economic activity and land use practices of the countries of the region and of how they are centered along the river courses found in each country. Figure 6: The origin of fresh water resources for the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Source: World Resources Institute (1992). World Resources 1992-93. A Guide to the Global Environment, Oxford University Press, New York.

The dispute over the Tigris-Euphrates River System Hydrology of the Tigris-Euphrates From source to sea the Euphrates is the longest river in the whole region of West Asia (Shultz, 1995). It traverses a distance of 2 700 kilometers, of which some 40 percent are in the modern state of Turkey, 25 percent in Syria, and 35 percent in Iraq. Its twin, the Tigris, has a total length of 1 900 kilometers, of which about 20 percent lie in Turkey, 78 percent in Iraq, and only 2 percent along the pointed northeastern corner of Syria known as the "Duck's Beak" (Hillel, 1994). (refer to the map of the Tigris-Euphrates River System in the map appendix for further detail). A feature common to both rivers is the heavy concentration of suspended sediment (silt) that they carry at flood-time: as much as 3 million tons of eroded soil from the highlands in a single day (Hillel, 1994). Most of this material settles en route and is responsible for the great deposit of alluvium that fills the Mesopotamian Plain. The river beds are raised above the alluvial plain and thus facilitate the diversion of water for the purpose of irrigation, to which the region owes its prodigious agricultural productivity. The mean natural flow of the Euphrates is about 30 billion cubic meters per year (BCM/y) at its entrance into Syria from Turkey, and 32 BCM/y on leaving Syria, after including the combined flows of two tributaries, the Balikh and the Khabur. The remaining 1000 kilometers of its course is in Iraq where it obtains no further increment of water such as tributaries (refer to map appendix). The Tigris is a less circuitous river than the Euphrates, and it flows more directly toward Mesopotamia (Hillel, 1994). After skirting the northeastern corner of Syria, at its junction with the eastern Khabur, the Tigris enters Iraq. At this point its mean annual flow is between 20 and 23 BCM/y. In Iraq it collects an additional 25-29 BCM/y from its left-bank tributaries, for an average total of roughly 50 BCM/y (Hillel, 1994). Current development on the Tigris-Euphrates For Turkey, Syria and Iraq, dependence on the Tigris and Euphrates is high. The rainfall in the region can vary from 250-400 millimeters per annum and agriculture demands at least 400 mm per annum, hence the high levels of dependence on the rivers (Shultz, 1995). All three states are using water from the same sources, which may create a future situation of overuse, implying a scarcity of water. Clearly a situation of cooperation is needed to avert such a problem but all three states are going full steam ahead, independently pursuing their own water development schemes. Probably the most ambitious of these projects is Turkey's South East Anatolia Project known by the Turkish acronym GAP (for Guneydogu Anadolu Projesi, in Turkish). The project aims at developing the regions bordering Syria and Iraq, encompassing the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates. The area is sparsely inhabited with a population of around 6 million, the majority being ethnic Kurds which claim the region as part of their national homeland. Turkey hopes by transforming this semi-arid region into the country's breadbasket it not only hopes to bring in and promote the development of agriculture and industry but to also offset the Kurdish majority by attracting Turks into the area and so diluting Kurdish nationalistic claims. The Turkish government has promoted the GAP project as having great eventual benefits for all, but recently, over 250 000 people were displaced from their homes which were to be inundated by dams. A civil war broke out between the Turkish government and the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) which has repeatedly claimed its opposition to GAP, regarding it as a Turkish theft of Kurdish waters (Hillel, 1994). The GAP plan calls for the construction of 80 dams, 66 hydroelectric power stations with a total capacity of 7 700 megawatts, and 68 irrigation projects covering up to 2 million hectares. Among the principal dams are the Keban, the Karakaya and the Ataturk, which is the linchpin of the entire GAP complex (Hillel, 1994) (refer to the map in the appendix for a representation of the GAP complex). Despite its great agricultural potential, Iraq has in the last decade become a net importer of grain to feed its population of 20 million (expected to reach 26 million by the year 2000). Iraq's main irrigated lands are the regions of lower Mesopotamia. However, this region is plagued by water logging and salinization and therefore an imperative need has arisen for a coordinated scheme of rehabilitation and sustainable water management, especially for the provision of regional drainage. (Hillel, 1994). In 1953 Iraq began work on a regional canal to provide comprehensive drainage. This canal has been dubbed "The Third River" as it flows midway between the Tigris and Euphrates. Ironically enough, creation of the canal was created by American engineers to reclaim large tracts of land that had become barren through salinization. During the Gulf War, bombing caused great damage to Iraq's hydraulic works but it managed to complete the project in December of 1992 (Figure 7). Figure 7: The "Third River", a recently completed drainage canal in southern Iraq (Source: Hillel, 1994)

The main canal is now 565 kilometers long and wide enough to allow 5000 ton barges carrying cargo from the Persian Gulf to Baghdad (Hillel, 1994). It was designed to drain 1.5 million hectares of land, allowing Iraq to increase its domestic food output significantly and thus help achieve its aims of economic dependence. However like Turkey's GAP project, Iraq's third river has caused the displacement of the indigenous Marsh Arabs and the canal has been criticized by the UN as an environmental crime, threatening to destroy an entire ecosystem. An ulterior motive to the draining of the region has been the possible exposure of oil deposits that are though to underlie the marshes, considered to be as great as those of Kuwait. More than Turkey and Iraq, Syria is nearly entirely dependent on the flow of the Euphrates for the development of its economy (see map in appendix). Apart from the Euphrates, Syria has access to a few underground aquifers (Figure 8) from which, through the sinking of thousands of well, has already caused the overdrawing and salinization of the ground water. In 1974 Syria began its greatest engineering feat, the damming of the Euphrates and the creation of Lake Assad (see map in appendix). The dam, built with Soviet engineering and financial aid was supposed to irrigate some 400 000 hectares, generate electricity and make the region prosperous (Hillel, 1994). In this project, as for the latter projects 70 000 indigenous Bedouin were displaced. However, so far the project has turned out to be a disappointment, the imported Soviet water generators proved to be faulty and the land originally designated for irrigation proved to be unsuitable due to the soil containing large amounts of gypsum (Hillel, 1994). Gypsum dissolves in water causing the soil to become lumpy and uneven making it difficult to distribute water over the soil surface. Disputes over the Tigris-Euphrates River System According to Shultz (1995) the real problems the three states are currently facing are the problems of management, apportionment and development planning, which has led to disagreements between them. This joint dependency on the river waters clearly indicates that the national security of all the states is linked. Turkey, Syria and Iraq may be considered to form a hydropolitical security complex. A hydrosecurity complex is defined as those states that are geographically part owners and technically users of the rivers and as a consequence consider the rivers as a major security issue (Shultz, 1995). Disputes over the Tigris-Euphrates waters consists of conflicts between upstream and downstream neighbors, but also between the state and ethno-religious groups, such as the Kurds of Turkey, the Marsh Arabs of Iraq and the Bedouin of Syria. Both Syria and Iraq are dependent on Turkey for the continual flow of the Euphrates. The intensification of the utilization of the Euphrates for Turkey's GAP project has caused sporadic decreases in the flow for both Syria and Iraq. Such a decrease in the flow is especially important for Syria, as unlike Iraq it cannot rely on the flow of the Tigris. The issues of an amicable apportionment of the river's flows could probably be easily met as there is enough water for all three states (Shultz, 1995). Surprisingly enough though, as yet no tripartate agreement has been signed by the three riparians on flow regulation, dams and sustainable water management. The writing is on the wall for an impending crisis but the parties seem to be to self involved in their own projects to notice. According to a web site issued by the Turkish government, Turkey is not a country rich in water resources and that for per capita annual water availability Iraq is actually richer in water than Turkey and Syria is not far behind ( According to Table 1, issued from Turkey's Investigation and Planning Department of the General Directorate of the State Hydraulic Works serves to illustrate Turkey's point.

Country cm/y/p Canada, USA 10,000 Iraq 2,110 Turkey 1,830 Syria 1,420 Israel 300 Jordan 250 Occupied Territories 100 Table 1: Water quantities per capita in some water rich and Middle Easter countries for the year 1993. cm/y/p=cubic meters per year per capita.
Such data must be treated with caution however as most of the water feeding both rivers originates from within Turkey, with Iraq contributing around 20 percent and Syria less than 10 percent. It is also Turkey's official view (not mentioned on the web site) that the Tigris and Euphrates are its sovereign resources, to be exploited as Turkey sees fit (Hillel, 1994). To quote Suleiman Demirel, a Turkish official: "Water is an upstream resource and downstream users cannot tell us how to use our resource." Iraq claims long-standing historical rights to utilize the waters of the twin rivers, a viewpoint that is mentioned on the web site. Both Syria and Iraq suffered water deprivation during the filling of the Ataturk Dam when in early 1990, Turkey blocked the flow of the entire Euphrates for one month. According to Turkey, all the necessary steps were taken to prevent significant harm to the downstream riparians and it maintains that this practice is a necessary technicality when building a dam and that Syria was timely informed that the flow would be interrupted. However, no agreement was ever signed between Turkey and her neighbors on the construction of the dam and its possible consequences. The issue in contention then is how to weigh historical rights against proportionate contributions to flow, taking into consideration the real needs of each country. These being, the availability of energy, the need for hydroelectricity, the feasibility of developing economic alternatives to irrigation based farming, the efficiency of water use and the size of each country's population. Thus far the levels of mistrust between the countries, and their self involved development projects, that disregards the concerns of their neighbors, makes any serious settled negotiation in the near future unlikely. The Jordan River System Hydrology of the Jordan river and the region's underground aquifers The Jordan Basin is an elongated valley in the central Middle East. Draining some 18 300 square kilometers, it extends form Mount Hermon in the north to the Dead Sea in the south, and lies within the pre-June 1967 boundaries of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria (refer to map appendix for further detail). Its waters, which originate in rainfall and in rivers and streams of Lebanon, Syria and the Golan heights, drain the lands to the east and to the west of the Jordan Valley. Precipitation in the basin ranges from over 1000 mm/y in the north to less than 50 mm/y in the south, but averages less than 200 mm/y on both sides of the Jordan river (Inbar and Maos, 1984). Much of the basin is arid or semi-arid and requires irrigation water for agricultural development (Table 2). Table 2 also shows the many times the various sources of the river have changed political hands indicating the importance of the river for those states dependent on it.
River Source Political Control Discharge(mcm/y) Hasbani Lebanon Lebanon 138 Israel post-82 Banias Syria Syria pre-67 121 Israel post-67 Dan Israel Israel 245 Upper Jordan Israel Israel 650 Lower Jordan Israel Israel/Jordan 1200 Yarmouk Syria Syria/Jordan/ 450 Israel Table 2: The principal surface waters of the Jordan basin and their political control (source: Lowi, 1993).
As can be seen the basin extends into four states, but about 80 percent of it is located within present-day Israel, Jordan and the West Bank (refer to map in appendix for further details). It is these lands that are most dependent on the waters, and since the beginning of the political conflict of the region, has been intertwined with a dispute over access to the water resources of the Jordan Basin: "It appears equally clear that along with other outstanding issues of the Palestine dispute-compensation, repatriation, Jerusalem, boundaries-there is a fifth element, water, which must be considered as we approach a final settlement."-U.S. Department of State Position Paper, May 4, 1953. Critical to the region's water supply is not only access to the water resources of the Jordan but also access to the underground water aquifers of the region. Such access is especially crucial for Israel as 60 percent of its total potential supplies of water are found in the country's two largest aquifers, the coastal plain aquifer and the mountain aquifer (see map in appendix for further details). An aquifer (literally, "water carrier") is a water-saturated geological stratum, occurring at some depth, that can accumulate and transmit water in sufficient amounts to serve as a water source for human use (Hillel, 1994). The coastal aquifer underlies Israel's central and southern coastal plain, from Mount Carmel in the north to the Gaza Strip in the south. From north to south the aquifer covers an area of some 1 800 square kilometers, it derives its waters primarily from the seepage of excess rainfall and floodwaters generated by runoff from the mountains to the sea (see map in appendix for further details). The mean natural recharge estimate is about 300 MCM/y with a safe annual withdrawal rate of 240-300 MCM/y. The pumps withdrawing water from the coastal aquifer have actually been overdrawing this rate for some time now due to the heavy demand for irrigation. Israel grows citrus along the coastal plain. This overdrawing of water prevents a sufficient amount of water to pass through the system to flush out salts and other minerals and over time the water has become steadily more saline and brackish. The Gaza Strip is also dependent on this aquifer where it is estimated that 65 MCM/y is available. Rapid population growth however, has severely taxed the system causing the lowering of the water table and severe intrusion of sea water into the well. Consequently most of the local drinking water in Gaza exceeds the salinity level of 500 ppm, considered the upper threshold of safe drinking water and in some areas this has reached 1500 ppm, making the drinking of water next to intolerable (Hillel, 1994). The mountain aquifer or Yarkon-Taninim aquifer extends beyond the Green Line (Israel's pre-1967 borders) into the mountainous regions of the West Bank (refer to map in appendix for further details).The aquifer extends about 150 kilometers from north to south. The aquifer's sustainable yield of fresh water is estimated to be about 300 MCM/y. It is tapped by over 300 wells, whose total annual pumpage averages 375 MCM. Like the coastal aquifer, the mountain aquifer is suffering from overpumping. Figure 8 shows the available groundwater for the countries of the Middle East. Figure 8: Available groundwater sources for the Arab region. Sources: Shahin, N. (1989). Review and assessment of water resources in the Arab region. Water International, 14 (4): 206-219.; Shelef, G. (1995). The coming era of intensive wastewater reuse in the Mediterranean Region. International Conference on the Peace Process and the Environment, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

The water and political tangle of the Jordan River Valley Israel's water resources are unfavorably located in relation to its main areas of demand. Water is most plentiful in the north and north east, but the densest concentrations of populations, industry and irrigable land are in the center of the country and along the coastal plain (refer to maps in appendix for more detail). The critical point for contention amongst the Jordan River states is that the water resources, especially the groundwater resources, upon which Israel is dependent are predominantly located within occupied territory. For example, about 475 MCM, or 40 percent of Israel's sustainable annual supply of groundwater, and one-quarter of its total renewable fresh water supply, originate in occupied territory (Lowi, 1993). Israel's attitude to the availability of water has always been one of national survival. Unrestricted access to water resources was perceived as a non-negotiable prerequisite for the survival of a Jewish national home (Lowi, 1993). The idea of water equal to national survival and aspirations have governed Israel's water policies, especially since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Israel's Arab riparian neighbors have also found it difficult to deal with the water issues of the region as they have been in opposition to the very fact of Israel's existence. They therefore refused to enter into negotiations with Israel on all matters, including water, as Israel was an affront to their ideas of a Pan-Arabian Middle East. Due to this lack of dialogue, no measures have yet been instituted to limit the overuse of the regions highly limited and sensitive water resources. The area of the West Bank plays a significant role in this scenario. Israel views it as a solution to its geographic vulnerability as it offers strategic depth and a defensible natural frontier, the Jordan River. More importantly, the West Bank provides Israel control over vital water supplies contained within the mountain aquifer. In the Arab-Israeli conflict therefore, water resources and national security are intimately linked. Since the 1967 Six Day War the water resources of the Occupied Territories have become under Israeli economic control and the Arab population has been limited to access over the local water sources such as wells. This has caused many Arabs to abandon agriculture and join the increasing day labor force that works across the Green Line in Israel. Complicating this issue is the allocation of water to Israeli settlers in the West Bank which is subsidized by the state, unlike water allocated to the Arabs. According to recent statistics, West Bank Palestinians which make up more than 80 percent of the population were receiving only 16-17 percent of the water originating from their territory (Kolars, 1990). There is no escape for an eventual agreement on sharing the resources of the Jordan River (crucial for Jordan) and the underground aquifers (crucial for Israel and any future Palestinian home land), current levels of mismanagement, coupled with increasing demand from growing populations and demographic shifts make a negotiated settlement crucial to avoid the predicted water shortages. The alternative war, unfortunately likely, can leave no true winners. Some developmental plans to solve the region's water crisis The recent International Conference on the Peace Process and the Environment held during the summer of 1995 at Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv Israel was heralded as a truly international Middle East conference. To be included for the first time at a conference of this sort in Israel, were the Jordanian and Egyptian ambassadors to Israel and a representative of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. Unfortunately, for undisclosed reasons, the Palestinian representative did not attend and so too did the then Prime Minister the late Yitzhak Rabin who in the end had prior engagements. The absence of such important figures from a conference of such importance for the region does not bode well for the future. In Israel sheer necessity has led to new ways of dealing with the water crisis. Wastewater reuse schemes for agricultural irrigation is a scheme currently in operation (Shelef, 1995). According to Shelef (1995) Israel has devoted more effort to wastewater reuse than probably any other country in the form of investment, research and professional and scientific manpower. Figure 8 shows how groundwater utilization will decrease in the future due to the over-exploitation of this resource, while the source of surface water will remain relatively constant To make up the shortfall, reusable wastewater will by the year 2010 constitute one fifth of the total supply and about one third of all the demand of the agricultural sector (mainly used for irrigation) (Figure 9). Israel's heavy investment in wastewater as an alternative water resource is an admiral one but nowhere during this international conference was mention made of sharing Israel's know-how with her neighbors. Jordan could substantially benefit from such knowledge as it has constantly been plagued by chronic water shortages since the breakdown of negotiations with Israel and Syria on the construction of the Maqarin dam on the Yarmouk river (Lowi, 1993). Figure 9: Current and expected water resources for Israel. Source: Shelef, G. (1995). The coming era of intensive wastewater reuse in the Mediterranean region. International Conference on the Peace Process and the Environment, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

One of the significant projects which have been considered to date has been the Intersea Canal (Segev, 1995). This project has the desire in mind for the cooperation and mutual benefit between Jordan and Israel since the signing of the peace treaty. The 400 meter difference in elevation between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea is considered to hold considerable potential for the generation of hydro-energy and the desalination of up to 800 MCM/y for Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians, with the energy required for desalination being obtained directly as a result from the differences in sea level (Hamberg, 1995). Three main routes for the canal have been proposed: the Red Sea-Dead Sea route (the Red-Dead project), the Mediterranean Sea-Dead Sea southern route (Med-Dead project) and the Mediterranean Sea-Dead Sea northern route (Figure 10). This ambitious project, although to be admired for its aims, will require massive construction of tunnels and pumping stations to connect the Mediterranean or Red Sea with the Dead Sea. Although this project has prospects for international cooperation, the environmental consequences could be far reaching. One would have to be naive to think that by linking two ecosystems long term environmental costs won't be incurred. In addition, the creation of underground canals could disrupt the natural flow of groundwater and provide havoc for wildlife by constructing artificial barriers. One needs to just look at the Aswan dam of Egypt and its long ranging effects along the Mediterranean coast line. Proponents of the project envisage the creation of tourist and recreation facilities (creation of lakes), aquaculture and generation of energy (Hamberg, 1995). Figure 10: The "Med-Dead" and the "Red-Dead" canals of the proposed Intersea canal project (Source: Hillel, 1994).

Finally, an imaginative project put forward by a Canadian company is the transfer of as much as 250 MCM of water from Turkey to Israel in enormous containers referred to as 'Medussa bags", that would be floated across the Mediterranean (Lowi, 1993). Policy implications For the riparian states of both river systems, the issues to be resolved are shared. As these countries become more developed their urban populations are increasing at a phenomenal rate, whereas their rural populations, are in most cases, remaining stable. This urbanization transition is going to up the demand for more water to be allocated for domestic consumption as opposed to agriculture. Indeed, in most instances, permanent cropland is shown to remain stable as the agricultural production indexes decreases. This is especially serious for Jordan. This alarming trend alludes to the current inefficiency and mismanagement of water use in agriculture. Interestingly, population growth rates are shown to actually decrease in the future but this will not help to alleviate the problem (Figures 21-22) as caution must be taken when interpreting these graphs. The data used is not age specific and does not take into account current trends such as fertility patterns. Also, in addition to population pressures, consumptive patterns must be factored in to any policy decision based solely on population trends. From the data at hand it does seem however, that it is the urban transition that is actually going to increase the immediate pressure on available water resources, as consumption per capita will increase even as agricultural production decreases. These trends are graphically represented in the following figures (Figures 11-20). Figure 11: The agricultural transition for Israel (Source: World Resource Database Diskette, 1996).

Figure 12: The agricultural transition for Jordan (Source: World Resource Database Diskette, 1996).

Figure 13: The agricultural transition for Syria (Source: World Resource Database Diskette, 1996).

Figure 14: The agricultural transition for Iraq (Source: World Resource Database Diskette, 1996).

Figure 15: The agricultural transition for Turkey (Source: World Resource Database Diskette, 1996).

Figure 16: The urbanization transition for Israel (Source: World Resource Database Diskette, 1996).

Figure 17: The urbanization transition for Jordan (Source: World Resource Database Diskette, 1996).

Figure 18: The urbanization transition for Syria (Source: World Resource Database Diskette, 1996).

Figure 19: The urbanization transition for Iraq (Source: World Resource Database Diskette, 1996).

Figure 20: The urbanization transition for Turkey (Source: World Resource Database Diskette, 1996).

Figure 21: The mean rate of population growth for Israel, Jordan and Lebanon (Source: World Resource Database Diskette, 1996).

Figure 22: The mean rate of population growth for Iraq, Syria and Turkey (Source: World Resource Database Diskette, 1996).

The countries of the region need to come to the realization that the river basins, river systems and underground aquifers that they utilize are not sovereign units that can be independently exploited without incurring repercussions to neighboring countries equally dependent on the same unit. Rather, the utilization of such units should be irrespective of political boundaries. Such a policy has been advocated as optimal by planners, politicians, and jurists, and has been adopted as policy in multi-national agreements in several river basins, including the Mekong in 1957, Columbia in 1961 and Senegal in 1963 (Lepawsky, 1963). The conflicts in the Middle East are probably unique in the world and are many faceted and complex. As the birthplace of modern western civilization and three of the world's largest religions, conflicts, whether political, racial or religious, have been a part of the system since civilization first began between the twin rivers of the Tigris-Euphrates. The on-going conflicts taking place on today's political stage can be traced back to biblical times and beyond. In the face of such a historic record of conflict, solving the disputes over shared water resources automatically involves cultural and political connotations. Perhaps this is why, where in other parts of the world common property issues have been resolved, in the Middle East they have not. The existence of modern independent states in the region has served to strengthen nationalistic ideals exacerbating common property issues that transcend their borders. The international community has been quick to realize the delicate power balance in the region and how precarious and volatile it can be. Therefore it is in their best interests to succor cooperation between the states. Such a goal is obtainable. For example, Israel possesses few internal renewable resources but has high technological expertise. By exporting its expertise on such things as drip irrigation and wastewater management to countries like Jordan and Egypt it could import products from those countries that it cannot produce itself such as oil. A trade agreement where expertise is traded for goods and services is a possibility if both sides can perceive how the benefits would outweigh the costs. Such an agreement could be worked out among Turkey, Syria and Iraq along the lines of proportional flow of the Tigris-Euphrates for the needs of each country controlled by trade agreements between them. Elsewhere in this volume, the water crisis for the Nile River riparians parallels those of the riparians mentioned in this chapter (refer to the chapter by Julie Smith). For the states of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia an effective policy would be similar to the one proposed here, that of a regional trade agreement that involves not only water but the expertise to manage it effectively. Regional development programs have been considered by some as a regional stepping stone to regional peace. Projects that require on-going multilateral cooperation in the use of water resources are being advocated. Each country has something to offer its neighbor that its neighbor lacks and visa versa. The realization, that by sharing information, expertise and goods can help in transcending the political divide that currently exists. Only when each country can directly gauge the benefit to itself from cooperating with its neighbors can regional stability be attained. Dynamic modeling as a tool for predicting the outcome of policy implications A recent useful tool to understand the complexities of a system such as that of a shared water resource is the use of modeling programs. STELLA II is one such program that allows a particular situation to be augmented, elaborated and most importantly, allows us to run the situation in order to yield predictions based on inputs incorporated in the model (Hannon and Ruth, 1994). The model that follows is a theoretical model that takes into account the interactions of population growth, water resources, consumption and the need for a political settlement based on the above parameters. Population, water in the system (total available water, rainfall and groundwater) are all stocks with arbitrarily chosen figures. Population is controlled by the number of births and deaths, which in turn depend on the birth and death rates (as the population increases, birth and death rates are said to decrease). Per capita consumption (consume per head) is dependent on how much water is available per capita and this in turn will effect the death rate of the population. The relationship is: as the amount of water available per capita increases then so to will the amount consumed per capita. Water in the system depends on how much comes in (water source) and how much goes out (water sink). The two main sources of water are rainfall and groundwater. The amount of water that is lost to the system depends on the amount consumed per capita (factors such as evapotranspiration were not considered). Finally, a political settlement is driven by how much water is consumed and by how much water is available. The assumed relationship was, as the amount of available water (water sink) increases the need for a political settlement, defined as multilateral negotiations decreases (Figure 23). Figure 23: A theoretical model to describe the interactions between population growth, water consumption and the need for a political settlement.

The change in population growth, water sink and political settlement were run over a period of 160 years. From figure 24, the population grows exponentially but then levels off and stabilizes according to some environmental constraint. With a rise in population, there is a concomitant drop in the amount of water at the sink. As the population increases and the water decreases, the need for a political settlement on the allocation of water increases. At that point in time where the population begins to stabilize, the water in the sink is allowed to gradually recover and so the pressure for a political settlement decreases. Eventually, water in the sink and some form of settlement will stabilize and will be maintained as long as the population remains stable and water does not begin to decrease further. Such a settlement could be considered to be based on equitable shared resource policies and efficient management of the resource. The model serves to illustrate how a policy decision must be based on international agreements and on demographic and consumptive trends. Figure 24: A graphical outcome of the above model for the parameters: population, water sink and political settlement.

Multilateral agreements can go a long way in resolving the political disputes. But in addition, the region needs to review its water management practices and be prepared to take bold steps for change. With the predicted rise in consumption, particularly in the domestic sector, the level of mismanagement and wasteful agricultural practices must be reviewed. This means that the countries must reconsider the size and importance of agriculture in their economies, revise the choice of crops grown, and phase out the production of water intensive crops such as cotton, tomatoes, lettuce, bananas and rice (Lowi, 1993). Such a radical shift will not be easy as cultural attitudes and consumptive patterns will need to be modified. However, if governments are bold enough to take these steps they may be in time to install them before the need for them reaches crisis levels. Instigating such patterns in an atmosphere of regional peace and development will only make the job easier. It should be plain to realize that resource security and political security are not mutually exclusive. One cannot exist without the other. The alternative may very well be increasing scarcity and war. Acknowledgments I would like to thank Professor Bill Drake, Professor Sandy Arlinghaus, and Julie Smith for their help and advice throughout the writing of this project. With regards the generating and printing of the maps I am indebted to Professor Arlinghaus. References Drower, M. S. (1954) Water Supply, Irrigation and Agriculture. In: Singer, C.; E. J. Holmyard, and A. R. Hall (eds.). A History of Technology. Oxford University Press, New York. Fishelson, G. (1995). The Value of Freshwater in Israel, Jordan and the West Bank and Gaza. International Peace Conference on the Peace Process and the Environment. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Flakenmark, M. (1986). Fresh Waters as a factor in Strategic Policy and Action. In: Westing (ed.) Global Resources and International Conflict. pp. 85-113. Gleik, P. H. (1993). Water and Conflict. Fresh Water Resources and International Security. International Security. 18 (1):79-112. Hamberg, D. (1995). The Mediterranean-Dead Sea and the Red Sea-Dead Sea projects. International Peace Conference on the Peace Process and the Environment. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Hannon, B. and M. Ruth. (1994) Dynamic Modeling. Springer-Verlag, New York. Hillel, D. (1994). Rivers of Eden. The Struggle for Water and the Quest for Peace in the Middle East. Oxford University Press, New York. Inbar, M. and J. Maos. (1984). Water Resource Planning and Development in the Northern Jordan Valley. Water International. 9 (1): 19. Knowlton, C. S. (1968). International Water Law along the Mexican-American Border. American Association for the Advancement of Science, El Paso, Texas. Kolars, J. (1990). The Course of Water in the Arab Middle East. American-Arab Affairs. 33: 66-67. Lipshutz, R. and J. P. Holdren (1990). Crossing Borders: Resource Flows, the Global Environment, and International Security. Bulletin of Peace Proposals. 21 (2): 121-133. Lowi, M. R. (1993). Bridging the Divide. Transboundary Resource Disputes and the case of West Bank Water. International Security. (18 (1): 113-138. Lepawsky, A. (1963). International Development of River Resources. International Affairs. 39; 533-550. Segev, G. (1995). The Mediterranean-Dead Sea canal, and the Red Sea-Dead Sea canal. International Peace Conference on the Peace Process and the Environment. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Shahin, N. (1989). Review and Assessment of Water Resources in the Arab Region. Water International. 14 (4): 206-219. Shelef, G. (1995). The Coming Era of Intensive Wastewater Reuse in the Mediterranean Region. International Peace Conference on the Peace Process and the Environment. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Shultz, M. (1995). Turkey, Syria and Iraq: A Hydropolitical Complex. In: Ohlson, L. (ed.) Hydropolitics. Conflict over Water as a Development Constraint. University Press, Dhaka. Starr, J. R. (1991). Water Wars. Financial Policy. World Resources Institute. (1992-93). A Guide to the Global Environment, Oxford University Press, New York. World Wide Web (1996).

APPENDIX: MAPS Map Set 1: Area comparisons, selected Middle Eastern countries.

Map Set 2: Land Use maps, selected Middle Eastern countries.

Map Set 3: Land Use maps, continued from Map Set 2 above.

Map Set 4: Economic Activity maps, selected Middle Eastern countries.

Map Set 5: Economic Activity maps, continued from Map Set 4 above.

Map Set 6: Population Density maps, selected Middle Eastern countries.

Map Set 7: Population Density maps, continued from Map Set 6 above.

Map: The Tigris-Euphrates River System.

Map: The Jordan River Basin.

Map: Aquifers Underlying Israel and the West Bank.