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California State University - San Bernardino (2006)

Institutional structures for equitable and sustainable water resource management in the Middle East

Davidson, Michael Raphael

Titre : Institutional structures for equitable and sustainable water resource management in the Middle East

Auteur : Davidson, Michael Raphael,

Université de soutenance : California State University - San Bernardino

Grade : Master of Public Administration 2006

Résumé
The Middle East is a semi-arid region where water scarcity has forever been a critical issue. Water management is a challenge in the area today because of increasing population, decreasing water quality, political instability and security concerns. Israel and the Palestinian Authority share the three major freshwater sources in an inequitable and unsustainable manner. This study details the hydro-geological, political, cultural and legal challenges to equitable and sustainable water resource management in the region today. Further, it analyzes extant institutional structures and suggested proposals for water management in the region and, finally, recommends the creation of a jointly operated, supra national, water authority for Israel and Palestine. In support of this research, I traveled to the region and conducted first-person interviews with key players in Israel and in Palestine and visited water treatment and delivery systems. The implications of the study are : the water crisis is reaching a defining moment where Israel is rapidly developing desalination plants while unilaterally withdrawing from Palestinian territory ; separate and uncoordinated management of surface and groundwater sources will inevitably lead to further degradation of the water supply ; while all freshwater is currently consumed in the region, the population and concomitant demand for water will double within thirty years ; and, currently, there is little trust among the political entities. A jointly created and managed water authority, implemented incrementally, could re-engender confidence and trust among Israelis and Palestinians and serve as a new model for equitable and sustainable water resource management for this and other similarly challenged regions of the world.

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