"Water in the Middle East" presents historical and cross-cultural perspectives on water and conflict, prospects for future cooperation in the water arena among Middle Eastern countries, the political economy of water and technical solutions to water shortages in the Jordan Valley, and the relationships among water, agriculture, and environmental sustainability. Through case studies and essays, natural and social scientific water experts from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and the United States examine: The role of water in Middle East conflicts and the possibility of regional solutions to water scarcity requiring cooperation among states; Long-term prospects of various aquifers and other fresh-water sources, including desalination; current and future environmental deterioration of water resources; Breakthroughs and developments increasing regional agricultural productivity, depending less on high-quality waters while turning to lower quality resources, such as recycled and brackish waters; alternatives to current water-usage patterns, particularly with regard to agriculture and the possibility of redirecting water to tourism and other economic sectors.
While this book highlights the complexities pertaining to regional water scarcity and inequitable distribution, the contributors offer no definitive conclusions or facile solutions; yet there is a broad consensus that regional solutions to maximize water resources must be pursued even as desalination becomes more viable both from technical/economic standpoints. The continuing deterioration of existing water supplies in terms of quantity and quality mandate that any solution must be achieved within a political/social framework of peace, enlightened economic policies, and the application of technical solutions that take due account of environmental concerns.
K. David Hambright is Assistant Professor of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station and Department of Zoology, and Adjunct Research Scientist at the Yigal Allon Kinneret Limnological Laboratory, Israel. F. Jamil Ragep is professor of the History of Science at the University of Oklahoma and Coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies. Joseph Ginat, formerly Chairman of the Jewish-Arab Center at the University of Haifa, and a former Director of the Israeli Academic Center in Cairo, is currently working with the Egyptian scholar Maha El-Rashidi on methods of conflict resolution.
Introduction; The Jordan Valley's Water: A Source of Conflict or a Basis for Peace; historical Political Conflict of Jordan River Water Resources; Compliance with an Violations of the Unified/Johnston Plan for the Jordan Valley; Water Resources Scarcity in West Africa: The Imperatives of Regional Co-operation; Is Joint Management of Israeli-Palestinian Aquifers Still Viable?; The Southern West Bank Aquifer: Exploitation and Sustainability; Groundwater Salinisation in the Jordan Valley -- Quo Vadis?; Lake Kinneret and Water Supply in Israel: Ecological Limits to Operational Supply; The Water Economy of Israel; Current Water Provision and Allocation in Palestine; The Peace Process and Water Supply in Jordan: Inter- and Trans-Boundary Border Projects; An Economic Approach for Making the most of Jordan's Water; Water: Casus Belli or Source of Co-operation?; Water, Demography and Future Economic Development in the Triangle: Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories; High Income Innovative Crops and Optimal Fertigation System: the Solution for High Farm Income Under Water Shortage in the Jordan Valley; Protected Agriculture: A Regional Solution for Water Scarcity and Production of High-Value Crops in the Jordan Valley; Focusing on Peace -- Building Trust and Understanding; Index.