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Water in Israel The Dry Facts Dr. Martin Sherman First of all, my son, see to it that you are always camped upstream … and your adversaries downstream North American Indian Adage

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Water in Israel

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Water in Israel

The Dry Facts

Dr. Martin Sherman


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First of all, my son, see to it that you are always camped upstream … and your adversaries downstream

North American Indian Adage


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What distinguishes political interactions from all other kinds of social interactions is that they are

  • predominantly oriented towards the authoritative allocation of values of society.

  • David Easton,A Framework for Political Analysis, p. 50


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    That branch of politics dealing with the authoritative allocation of societal values that pertain to hydrological resources.

    Hydro-politics:


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    The conflict over the Jordan’s water … has determined the behaviour of the co-riparians for almost forty years.

    The worsening situation of water supply among all the co-riparians … is only going to increase the magnitude of the[ir] conflicting interests…

    The scarcity of water in the Jordan-Yamuk system has made water supply a strategic issue related to the national security of the partners to this basin

    ‘…under severe shortage the Jordan basin becomes a highly symbolic, contagious, aggravated, intense, salient, complicated, zero-sum power and prestige-packed crisis issue, highly prone to conflict and extremely difficult to resolve’

    Nurit Kliot, Water Resources and Conflict in the Middle East, London:Routledge, 1994, p. 173.


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    Hydrological Parameters

    State of the Ground and Surface Water Sources – Decreasing Quantities and Deteriorating Quality

    Possible Alternative and Unavoidable Imperatives

    The Middle East as Israel’s Political Environment

    Political Parameters

    Defining the scale of the Problem- Natural Sources of Supply vs Demand Trends

    Hydropolitical Implications

    The Implications of the Peace Process: Dramatic Changes in Control over Hydrological Resources


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    “Non-Domestic” Component

    Domestic Component

    Israel’s Hydrostrategic Predicament


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    Price

    Quantity

    Price

    Elastic

    Supply

    Inelastic

    Supply

    Inelastic

    Demand

    Elastic Demand

    Quantity

    Normal Supply and Demand Situation:

    Price Can Be an Effective Demand Regulating Device

    Inelastic Supply and Demand Situation:

    Price Cannot Be an Effective Demand Regulating Device

    Price

    Declining Natural Supply Due to Salting and Pollution of Wells

    Expanding Inelastic (Urban and Industrial) Demand due to Increased Population and Living Standards

    Growing Gap between Increasing Inelastic Demand and Declining Inelastic Supply:

    Entire Quantity of Additional Artificially Produced/Imported Water Available in Foreseeable Future Water Will be Required to Fill This Gap

    Quantity

    Artificially Produced Water Required to Augment and not to Replace Existing Natural Supplies


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    Source

    Permissible Annual Extraction (According to Natural Recharge)

    Coastal Aquifer

    300-350 

    W. Mountain Aquifer (Yarkon Taninim)

    300-350 

    450 - 80

    National Water Carrier

    Permissible Annual Extraction from the National Water System

    (According to Natural Recharge)


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    Year

    Amount

    (mcm)

    1995

    360

    1996

    336

    1997

    455

    1998

    105

    1999

    177

    Mcm

    2000

    69

    2001

    257

    2002

    944

    2003

    647

    2004

    332

    Total

    3682

    368.2

    Average

    Kinneret: Annual Amounts of Available Water


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    Mr. Rafael Eitan

    Minister of Agriculture

    I received Martin Sherman’s letter of 4.4.91 addressed to you

    Here are my remarks as you requested:

    It is not a bad idea to have a prophet of doom. However there are several errors in the way things are presented, in the style and the immediate short term conclusions. I do not dispute the conclusions as to the future

    It is not possible to ensure a permanent supply of water from the major sources above the rather low level of 800 Mcm per annum


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    Year

    Municipal Consumption

    Industrial Consumption

    Combined Municipal & Industrial Consumption

    1990

    482

    106

    588

    1999

    682

    127

    809

    Increase

    200

    (42%)

    21

    (20%)

    221

    (38%)

    2001

    658

    120

    778

    2005

    713

    120

    833

    Source: Statistical Year Book, Central Bureau of Statistics, 2001, ***********

    Municipal and Industrial Consumption 1990-2005 (Mcm)


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    Price

    Quantity

    Price

    Elastic

    Supply

    Inelastic

    Supply

    Inelastic

    Demand

    Elastic Demand

    Quantity

    Normal Supply and Demand Situation:

    Price Can Be an Effective Demand Regulating Device

    Inelastic Supply and Demand Situation:

    Price Cannot Be an Effective Demand Regulating Device

    Price

    Declining Natural Supply Due to Salting and Pollution of Wells

    Expanding Inelastic (Urban and Industrial) Demand due to Increased Population and Living Standards

    Growing Gap between Increasing Inelastic Demand and Declining Inelastic Supply:

    Entire Quantity of Additional Artificially Produced/Imported Water Available in Foreseeable Future Water Will be Required to Fill This Gap

    Quantity

    Artificially Produced Water Required to Augment and not to Replace Existing Natural Supplies


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    ...even at very high water prices, household consumption of water would hardly decline... Any attempt to lower the domestic water consumption below this level would be rather unsuccessful and its costs in terms of welfare might be quite high.

    G. Fishelson, Israeli Household Sector Demand for Water,Tel Aviv: The Armand Hammer Fund for Economic Cooperation in the Middle East, Tel Aviv University. 1993, p. 23.

    Inelastic consumption of fresh water will amount to approx. 1200-1650 million c.m. per year (in 2020).

    S. Arlosoroff, ‘Managing Scarce Water: Recent Israeli Experience’, Israel Affairs, Vol. 2(1), 1995, p. 240


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    Price

    Price

    P2

    P2

    P1

    P1

    Quantity

    Quantity

    Q2

    Q1

    Q2

    Q1

    Price

    Price

    P1

    P1

    Quantity

    Quantity

    Q2

    Q1

    Q2

    Q1

    Effect of a Change of a Variable (Price) on Demand

    Inelastic Demand

    Elastic Demand

    Reduction of Demand due to Change in Price (Variable)

    No Reduction of Demand due to Change in Price (Variable)

    Effect of a Change of a Parameter (Income/Tastes) on Demand

    I1

    I1

    I= Income

    I2 <I1

    I2 <I1

    Inelastic Demand

    Inelastic Demand

    Elastic Demand

    Reduction of Demand due to Change in Income/Tastes (Parameter)

    Reduction of Demand due to Change in Income/Tastes (Parameter)


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    High

    Upper Middle

    Lower Middle

    Low

    Urban Water Consumption as a Function of Income


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    ...even at very high water prices, household consumption of water would hardly decline... Any attempt to lower the domestic water consumption below this level would be rather unsuccessful and its costs in terms of welfare might be quite high.

    G. Fishelson, Israeli Household Sector Demand for Water,Tel Aviv: The Armand Hammer Fund for Economic Cooperation in the Middle East, Tel Aviv University. 1993, p. 23.

    Inelastic consumption of fresh water will amount to approx. 1200-1650 million c.m. per year (in 2020).

    S. Arlosoroff, ‘Managing Scarce Water: Recent Israeli Experience’, Israel Affairs, Vol. 2(1), 1995, p. 240


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    Overall Water Consumption

    Incl. Supply to Jordan and the Palestinian Authority

    Mcum

    Palest. Author

    Jordan

    Domestic

    Industry

    Agricul. (marginal)

    Agricul. (sweet)


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    Area

    Extraction

    Insertion

    Outflows

    Total

    Usage

    Recharge **

    Overall

    Saline *

    Overall

    Saline

    Coast

    505

    18

    110

    505

    304

    Yarkon-Taninim

    573

    3

    0

    34

    33

    607

    350

    W. Galilee

    97

    0

    24

    7

    121

    194

    Carmel

    40

    10

    3

    3

    43

    44

    Kinneret Basin

    69

    346

    21

    415

    550

    Eastern Highland

    176

    18

    187

    124

    363

    330

    Negev & Arava

    90

    58

    90

    55

    Total

    1550

    115

    110

    594

    188

    2144

    1827

    Source :Hydrologival Service , 2000

    (*) Above 400 mg Chlorides

    (**) Recharge of Coastal Aquifer based on long term average rain fall + runoff from irrigation and leakages estimated at 59 Mcm


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    Total Recharge and Net Inflows

    Total Extraction and Outflows

    Deficit

    1865 Mcm

    2132Mcm

    267 Mcm


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    About 10 per cent of the coastal aquifer already exceeds the national limit for chloride salts and by 2010, if pumping continues, 20 per cent of the water will exceed the limit.

    N. Kliot,Water Resources and Conflict in the Middle East, p. 237

    Overpumping of water from the coast aquifer has caused a steep reduction in its water level and, as a result, sea water has penetrated into it causing it to become salinated over a 4 km wide belt leading to the closing of many wells.

    Pollutants are accumulating within the aquifer and wells are being shut down because they contain too much salt, nitrates from fertilizers and heavy metals from sludge.


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    Coastal Aquifer Pollution-Chlorides: Anything not blue or yellow does not conform to standard

    Coastal Aquifer

    Pollution -Nitrates Anything not blue does not conform to standard


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    Coastal Aquifer

    Pollution Chlorides + Nitrates All red areas do not conform to standard


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    Water Line

    Rishon Le’Zion

    Jordan Valley

    Ben Gurion Airport

    1976 Green Line


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    The Mountain Aquifer

    Recharge, Storage, and Pumping Areas

    Pumping Area

    Recharge Area

    Jordan Valley

    Storage Area

    Mediterranean

    Subterranean Flow

    Aquiclude

    Aquifer


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    It is the rain falling on the West Bank that recharges the aquifer; any new wells drilled between the recharge area and the Israeli taps could cut off supply and, by lowering the water tables in the part of the aquifer that extends to the west of the Green Line, allow saline water from greater depths to seep in, permanently ruining what is left”

    US News & World Report, 16.12.91.

    Wells within Israel proper were tapping this water long before the Six-Day War. But as the population and water demand on both sides of the Green Line have grown, the control of the western slopes has attained a new and vital importance for Israel.


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    Location of wells and springs in districts of the West Bank

    http://www.arij.org/pub/water/fig6.jpg


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    Recharge Areas of the Mountain Aquifer


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    The Mountain Aquifer –Water Movement and Sources of Salination

    Judea & Samaria Highlands

    Pumping Sites

    Coastal Plain

    Direction of Salt Propagation


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    Rain Falling on the outcropping aquifer across the Green Line

    Recharge Area

    Green Line

    Direction of Flow of Pollutants

    Mountain Aquifer

    Surface Discharge of Aquifer

    Direction of Subterranean Flow of Ground Water in the Aquifer

    Mediterranean Sea

    Jordan R.

    Direction of Progression of Salting


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    14 May, 1989

    To:

    Itzhak Shamir,

    The P.M. Office

    Jerusalem

    Water Security for Israel Now and In the Future

    Enclosed is a memorandum concerning the water supply connected to Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

    I hereby request to raise this crucially important subject at a meeting of the government or of the cabinet for discussion and decisions

    Attached is proposed resolution

    A. Katz-Oz, Minister of Agriculture

    Cc: Mr. Shimon Peres, Deputy P.M. & Finance Minister

    Mr. Itzhak Rabin, Minister of Defense

    Mr. Moshe Arens, Foreign Minister


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    To Prevent the Increase of Pumping from Present and Future Sources in Judea, Samaria and Gaza

    To Prepare the Legal and Political Basis to Ensure Israeli Control and Management of the Water Sources in Judea and Samaria in Any Conceivable Political Situation in the Future


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    הסכנה העיקרית [למימי אקוויפר ההר המערבי] נובעת מהיכולת הדלה של הפלשתינאים לאכוף את ההסכם [לניהול משותף של המאגר], וכתוצאה ממנה לריבוי קידוחים פראיים ושאיבת יתר שתדלל את כמות ואיכות המים באקוויפר.

    הארץ – 7.11.1999

    Recommendation to Barak to Retain Israeli Control of Water in West Bank

    The main danger arises from the poor ability of the Palestinians to enforce the agreement [for joint management of the aquifer], and the resulting uncontrolled drilling and over-exploitation that would degrade the quality and quantity of the ground water in the aquifer,


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    Without border changes, a very grave danger to Israel’s principal sources of drinking water will arise.

    105.Tahal Report p

    Israeli control over most of the water resources must be retained to prevent an increase in the extraction of ground water in Judea & Samaria at the expense of Israeli use of Yarkon Taninim Aquifer.


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    The Israeli interest is to prevent the unregulated increase of the extraction of the ground water in the future, at the expense of the Israel’s water supply, and to prevent the pollution of the aquifer as a result of uncontrolled activities such as untreated flows of sewage and other forms of waste.

    The Israeli demands will be based on the principle of prior and present use, on the definition of the source according to the location of the springs and not the outcrops of the aquifer, and on the derivation of higher economic benefits (lower production costs)

    The Palestinian authority will present demands for enhanced water rights on the basis of geographic and hydrological principles (contribution of water to the source) and socio-economic needs (industrial and agricultural development). The Arabs claim that the ground water in Judea and Samaria is Arab water according the Helsinki Convention and they are therefore entitled to make use of the entire in the aquifer

    Tahal Report pp. 103-106


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    [This] blatant one-sidedness, which might be rationalized as a reflection of the abnormality of the interim phase, [is] an arrangement which would visibly violate Palestinian sovereignty in the future.

    S. Elmusa, Negotiating Water: Israel and the Palestinians,, (Washington: Institute for Palestinian Studies, 1996), p. 43

    [Article 40 of the Oslo II Agreements] empowers Israeli personnel on the Joint Water Committee to inspect (jointly with Palestinians) hundreds of Palestinian wells scattered across the West Bank


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    All the Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley are supplied by deep wells which were specifically drilled for this purpose. By contrast, most of the Arab agriculture is supplied by shallow wells especially in the areas of Jericho, Ouja, Jiflik and Marj Naja. As a general rule, there has been no effect from the deep wells on the shallow ones, except in the case of the Barda’le where the flow of the springs decreased, and the Arab farmers were compensated by supplies from new wells.

    דו"ח תה"ל, ע' 102

    Tahal Report , p.102


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    Head of Military Intelligence: The Arabs Demand 60 Percent of Israel’s Water


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    1990-2005Kinneret Water Level

    Level on 14.01.08


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    ... a change in the sovereignty over this area and its return to Syrians ...[who] have not placed the peace issue in a prominent position on their national agenda ...would raise problems of the need to ensure the existing user rights which depend on the Israeli Sea of Galilee inflow ...

    E. Kally with G. Fishelson , Water and Peace: Water Resources and the Arab-Israeli Peace Process, (Westport, Conn., 1993), p. 51.

    If the Syrians resettle and industrialize the Golan plateau after Israel’s evacuation, the area might become a source of pollution endangering the water quality of the Sea of Galilee.

    D. Hillel, Rivers of Eden: The Struggle for Water and the Quest for Peace in the Middle East, (New York, 1994), p. 289.

    The Golan Heights constitute a potential source of pollution of Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). Minhal Ha’Kinneret [the Kinneret Authority] operates to prevent pollution in the Golan Heights, including by means of garbage collection and sewage purification. In the said scenario [i.e. Israeli evacuation] these activities would cease.

    Tahal Report , p. 113


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    Secret

    Mekoroth Ltd

    Background Material for Peace Talks between Israel and Syria: The Current Situation and Risk Analysis

    In our estimation the Israeli water system will be able to withstand such a [worst case] scenario; and accordingly will have to reach a satisfactory agreement with the Syrians ; or refrain from evacuating the Golan


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    If the Syrians settle hundreds of thousands of people on the Golan, without appropriate means for treating the sewage and other sources of pollution, it will mean the end of the Kinneret – beyond any shadow of a doubt.

    Israel Water Commissioner Testimony before Knesset State Control Committee 3.1.2000.

    The water sources on the Golan [are] a critical, vital and even a fateful matter in terms of the future of the State [of Israel]. I have to say that I am not aware of any replacement for this water.

    Ya’acov Tsur, Minster of Agriculture under both Rabin and Peres,

    Jerusalem Post, 27. 12. 1995.


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    Solutions, Partial-Solutions and Non-Solutions

    Reduction of Fresh Water Supply to Agriculture

    Use of Recycled Sewage Water

    International Cooperation and Regional Solutions

    Artificial Production of Water and the Imperative of Large-Scale Desalination


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    The Israeli occupation changed local agriculture profoundly.

    It introduced modern technology, including mechanization, precision tillage, pest control, plastic covering of crops for temperature control, high yielding varieties, postharvest processing of produce, marketing, and export outlets.

    It also introduced efficient methods of irrigation, including sprinkler and especially drip irrigation. Consequently, output increased greatly, and farming was transformed from a subsistence enterprise to a commercial industry.

    D. Hillel, Rivers of Eden: The Struggle for Water and the Quest for Peace in the Middle East, (New York, 1994), p. 206.


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    Significant portions of the water utilized by agriculture that are not included in the NWS (such in the Arava, Jordan Valley and Bet Shean area) are not currently available for urban and industrial use, since no conveyance system exists to bring them to the metropolitan urban centers. Thus cutting back on the supply of these waters to farmers will not produce a single additional liter of water for urban use in the short to medium run - even if the construction of such infrastructure were deemed economic relative to the option of desalination, which is doubtful.

    Proposals calling for the drastic reduction of agriculture often rest on the claim that this activity constitutes a very small percentage (around 3%) of the GNP. However, in practice, a far higher economic price would probably be incurred. For the reduction in agriculture would hit not only the livelihood of the farmers alone, but also all those industries that supply them with “pre- and post-harvest” goods and services (or industries “up-stream” “downstream” of agriculture proper) (I. Spharim et alia). These include the chemical industry (fertilizers, insecticides etc.); packaging materials (plastic, paper, cardboard etc.); engineering and machinery (manufacture and maintenance of equipment for irrigation, cultivation and harvesting ); transport (land, sea and air); and processing plants (fruit juices, vegetable extracts, puree, wineries etc.). Reducing the scale of agriculture implies reducing the scale of these industries’ operations as well

    Reducing water to Israeli farmers would not reduce demand for agricultural produce. It is thus highly likely that this demand will be supplied, at least partially, by Arab farmers in the Palestinian areas, many of who draw their irrigation waters from the same sources which supply Israeli farmers. Thus, water saved by reduced supply to Israeli growers, may well be used by Palestinian growers, who by and large use less water-efficient irrigation techniques than their Israeli counterparts. Accordingly unless Israel can control the use of water by farmers in Palestinian controlled territories it is likely that overall reduction in agricultural activity will be less than expected and that relatively more water will be required to sustain it.

    Another serious risk is that agricultural produce not grown by Israeli farmers may be grown by Palestinian farmers using untreated sewage. M. Kantor warns that that it would be impossible to control such a phenomenon, which would be likely to develop into a severe health hazard(Kantor, pp. 9-10).

    M. Kantor ‘Water in Israel: A View Towards the Beginning of 2000’, Research Paper No. 9504, Rehovot: The Center for Agricultural Economic Research , 1995. (Hebrew); I. Spharim, S. Shalhevet, Nava Haruvy, Israeli Agriculture in a Changing Environment, Bet Dagan, Rishon Le’Zion: Dept. of Rural Development Economics, Volcani Center, Ministry of Agriculture, July 1999.


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    Recycled water after the usual secondary purification treatment (i.e. of biological but not chemical pollutants) prevalent today has high content of salt and contains other dissolved substances and apparently even traces of heavy metals and carcinogenic materials(Zaslavsky, 1999, p.41). As a result, the use of this water in areas from which it can reach ground water will result in severe damage to drinking water supplies (even “certain ruin [sic]” according to Zaslavsky - 2000, p.41) .

    Damage to ground water

    Recycled water can also cause the ruin of agricultural land because of its high salinity resulting in significant damage to the soil. It can also cause the formation of impervious surface crusting and result in impaired germination and soil ventilation The serious deterioration of the farmlands of the Jezriel valley is an example of the consequences that can arise as a result of extensive use of recycled waste-water for irrigation (Zaslavsky, 2000, pp.40-1).

    Damage to Soil Quality

    Restrictions as what crops can be grown and where

    Kantor warns that the use of recycled waste water must be prohibited in the entire coastal plain up to the foothills of the highlands to its east He points out that vegetables and fruit with edible skins should not be permitted to be irrigated with recycled waste-water (Kantor p. 7)

    Use of recycled waste also impairs agricultural yields (some experiments seem to indicate that the decrease may be a severe as 25% relative to those attained with fresh water irrigation) and limits the number of crops that can be cultivated.

    Reduction of Yields

    Cost of conveyance and storage may result in a heavy economic burden on the country. Much of the agricultural activity is located far from the urban centers which produce large quantities of sewage. Thus its use entails high conveyance costs. The need to store the sewage results in additional potential damage, which includes increased salinity due to evaporation in storage facilities, secondary development of harmful micro-organisms in the stored treated sewage, and the increased blockages in sprinklers and drip irrigation systems, making careful prior filtration necessary.

    High costs

    D. Zaslavsky, Sustainable Development of the Water System and the Fate of Agriculture, Haifa: The Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, The Technion, 1999; and The State of Water in Israel (Pnei Ha’Mayim), Haifa: Technion, 2000.

    M. Kantor ‘Water in Israel: A View Towards the Beginning of 2000’, Research Paper No. 9504, Rehovot: The Center for Agricultural Economic Research , 1995. (Hebrew).


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    The Sovereignty of States and the Anarchy of the International System

    …the only bond of union that endures [among nations is] the absence of all clashing interests.

    Salisbury, quoted in H. Morgenthau,Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, 5th edition, (New York, 1967).

    For what is a binding peace [agreement] among sovereign nations when one of the attributes of sovereignty is the right to change one’s mind?

    H. Kissinger, White House Years, (Boston, 1979), p. 346.

    The major problem is not [to sign] an agreement, but to uphold the agreement in practice. The number of agreements violated by the Arabs is no less than the number they have honored.

    Shimon Peres, Tomorrow is Now, ' Jerusalem: Keter, p 255

    Even if the Palestinians agree that their state have no army or weapons, who can guarantee that a Palestinian army would not be mustered later to encamp at the gates of Jerusalem and the approaches to the lowlands? And if the Palestinian state would be unarmed, how would it block terrorist acts perpetrated by extremists, fundamentalists or irredentists?

    Shimon Peres The New Middle East, New York: H. Holt, 1993, p.169

    Sovereignty has ... had a profound impact on the international system.... Because there are no powerful centralizing organizations in the system, the system’s structure is largely anarchical. Countries pursue their usually selfish national interests in largely unregulated competition with other countries. When there are disputes, there are no authoritative rules or judicial bodies with the power to enforce rulings... [Although] it is declining ...[this] does not detract... from the pivotal past, present, and probable future role of sovereignty in determining the authority structure of the international system.

    J. Rourke, International Politics on the World Stage, 5th edition (Guilford, Conn., 1995), p. 62.


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    ...regional cooperation and mutual trust are not among the prominent features of [the Middle East... [T]he states of the region do not generally cooperate with each other - whether on water or other issues. The only case of cooperation in the Middle East is the cooperation among the Arab states in creating various coalitions in their war against Israel. Apart from this there is no significant cooperation between the states comprising the Arab League. Indeed, hostile relations, which sometimes result in bloodshed and even war, prevail between [many] Arab states. As for cooperation between the Arab states and the three non-Arab states in the Middle East (Iran, Turkey and Israel), there has never been in the past nor is there in the present any cooperation in economic or other matters.

    Arnon Soffer, Rivers of Fire pp. 218 & 231.


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    ... the Iranian experience should teach Israel to go slow, and be wary about larger joint projects which might make Israel, or important parts of Israel subject to sudden cutoff, or subject Israel to blackmail.

    E. Kanovsky, in a hearing before the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress on security and economic trends in the Middle East held on 21.10. 1997.)

    Financial disputes have been an irritant in joint international projects around the world, even when the countries involved are on good terms; they are likely to be all the worse when the partners start out being suspicious of each other… Such projects will not cement the recent [Oslo] peace accord. They are almost sure to be accompanied by dispute-provoking cost over runs which will strain relations between the partners.

    P. Clawson, ‘Mideast Economies after the Israel-PLO Handshake’, Journal of International Affairs, Summer, 1994), pp.150, 154.

    Many of the hostilities that have occurred in the region over water seem to have come about precisely because the water destined for a downstream user was controlled by an upstream party. Many “co-operative” projects might only provide additional opportunity for suspicion and potential for contention.

    A. Wolf, Hydropolitics Along the Jordan River: Scarce Water and its Impact on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, (New York, 1995), pp. 109-10.


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    The “reluctance [of sovereign states] to place themselves in a state of [hydrological] dependency upon the continuing goodwill of an outside power with which their nations had a long and not entirely happy relationship …”

    D. Hille,l Rivers of Eden: The Struggle for Water and the Quest for Peace in the Middle East, New York : Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 246

    Dependency violates the “sovereignty imperative” and is “a geopolitical limitation which sovereign nations only reluctantly take upon themselves”

    N. Kliot, Water Recourses and Conflict in the Middle East, New York: Routledge, 1994, pp. 133, 204.


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    Since a desalinization plant, to achieve maximal efficiency, must be operated continuously throughout the year, whereas water demand fluctuates seasonally, some system of storage will be necessary

    . ... underground storage is preferable to surface storage, since it entails smaller losses due to evaporation and seepage

    D. Hillel, Rivers of Eden: The Struggle for Water and the Quest for Peace in the Middle East, (New York, 1994), p255 .

    Storage volume will be no less necessary when the quantity of desalinated water increases. The demand for water varies seasonally. In order to operate the desalination equipment continuously, a storage volume of approximately 20% of the overall annual output is required.

    D. Zaslavsky, Sustainable Development of the Water System and the Fate of Agriculture, Haifa: The Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, The Technion, 1999 p. 37 [


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    A situation in there is no cooperation and no border changes constitutes a grave threat to Israel’s principal sources of drinking water. Even when desalination attains considerable dimensions, the importance of the Yarkon Taninim Aquifer, which will serve as seasonal and long-term reservoir, will not decrease

    Tahal Report, p. 105


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    .

    The feasibility of this option is contingent upon the amount of trust Israeli policy makers feel they can place in the Arabs.

    Israel Honors Contractual Commitments

    Israel Violates Contractual Commitments

    OptionI

    Place Trust in Arabs Honoring Contractual Commitments:

    Accept Dependency on Arab Good Faith for Continued Water Supplies

    If hydrological considerations alone are taken into account, it would not be rational for Israel to violate its contractual obligations if it believed that the Arabs would honor theirs

    Compliance with the withdrawal implicit in the Oslo process, and planning future development of the county’s water system on continued reliance on natural sources no longer under its control, in the hope that its Arab counter-signatories (and its potential successors) will indeed continue to respect Israel’s interests - even if these clash with their own.

    Irrational Choice

    OptionII

    OptionIII

    Refrain from Placing Trust in Arabs Honoring Contractual Commitments:

    Endeavor to Attain Independence on Arab Good Faith for Continued Water Supplies

    Non- compliance with the withdrawal called for in the Oslo process, either by (a) bilateral negotiated agreement (??); or (b) by unilateral repudiation.

    Compliance with the withdrawal called for in the Oslo process, and re-structuring the entire water system so as to make Israel independent of all water sources under foreign and potentially hostile control.

    The feasibility of this option is contingent upon the assessment of Israel’s ability to cope with the grave problems of energy consumption, storage volume, and restructuring of infrastructure

    The feasibility of this option is contingent upon the assessment of Israel’s ability to withstand international pressures (censure & sanction) that would be likely to follow it.


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    Option I:

    Continued Dependency on Sources Transferred to Arab Control: Risk Intentional of Unintentional Deprivation

    Insufficient Natural Supplies of Water to Satisfy Growing Inelastic Demand:

    Dwindling Quantities and Deteriorating Quality Threaten Reliability of Supply even to Urban and Industrial Consumers

    The Arab-Israeli Peace Process as a Hydro-Strategic Constraint: Territorial Concessions Entail Loss of Israeli Control over up to 65% of Available Natural Water Supplies

    Imperative of Artificial Water Generation to Free National Water Supply from Dependency of Weather: Most Feasible Means Desalination

    Option II:

    Endeavor to Attain Independence of Sources Transferred to Arab Control

    Option III:

    Non-Implementation of Territorial Concessions and Repudiation of Contractual Obligations : Risk International Censure and Sanction

    • Challenges/Difficulties

      • (1) Energy Requirements

      • (2) Adequate Storage Facilities

      • (3) Restructuring of Conveyance and Delivery Infrastructure

    Increased Severity of Challenges and Difficulties

    Arid Climate: Dependence for Water Supply of Vagaries of Weather


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