Water And War In The Middle East SUBJECT AREA - Topical Issues CSC 95 WATER AND WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST A MILITARY ISSUES PAPER BY MAJOR AL-ZAGAIBEH HEEDIER QUANTICO, VIRGINIA APRIL 1995 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page INTRODUCTION 1 THE WATER RESOURCES OF THE REGION 2 Yarmuk River 6 West Bank Ground Water Aquifers 7 The Tigris, Euphrates River Basin and Shatt Al-Arab 8 The Nile River Basin 12 The Litani and Orontes River Basins 14 Conflicts over Other Middle East Water Resources 15 FUTURE CONFLICTS OVER WATER IN THE MIDDLE EAST 15 REDUCING CONFLICTS OVER WATER 19 Reallocation of Current Supplies 20 Effective Joint Interbasin Management 21 Increased Efficiency of Use 22 New Supplies 23 Politics and International Law 24 WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? 27 END NOTES 28 INTRODUCTION As we approach the 21st century, population pressures, irrigation demands and growing resource needs throughout the world are increasing competition for fresh water. Nowhere is this more evident than in the arid Middle East, where the scarcity of water has played a central role in defining the political relationships in the region for thousands of years. In the Middle East, ideological, religious, and geographical disputes go hand in hand with water-related tensions, and even those parts of the Middle East with relatively extensive water resources, such as the Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates river valleys are coming under political pressure. Competition for the limited water resources of the area is not new--people have been fighting over, and for, water since ancient times. The problem has become especially urgent in recent years because of the growing demands for water, the limited options for improving overall supply and management, and the intense political conflicts in the region. At the same time, the need to jointly manage the shared water resources of the region may provide an unprecedented opportunity to move toward an era of cooperation and peace. The problem of water conflicts in the region is considered sufficiently important to merit separate explicit discussion in both the multilateral and bilateral Middle East Peace Talks now underway. THE WATER RESOURCES OF THE REGION The water resources of the Middle East are unevenly distributed and used, and every major river in the region crosses international borders. The extent to which major rivers and ground water basins are shared by two or more nations makes allocation and sharing of water a striking political problem. In northeast Africa and the Middle East, more than 50 percent of the total population relies upon river water that flows across a political border. The major shared surface water supplies in the Middle East are the Jordan, Tigris, Euphrates, and Nile rivers. The watershed of the Litani River in Lebanon is not shared by any other country, though control and allocation of its waters remains controversial. Several ground water aquifers are also heavily used, and in the occupied territories, heavily contested. Table 1 identifies the major river basins in the region and the countries that are part of those basins. Click here to view image The Jordan River Basin Despite its small size, the Jordan River is one of the most important in the region, and the locus of intense international competition. Shared by Syria, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon, the Jordan drains an area of slightly under 20,000 square kilometers and flows 360 kilometers from its headwaters to the Dead Sea. Annual precipitation ranges from less than 50 mm per year to over 1,000 mm per year, and averages less than 200 mm per year, insufficient for most rainfed agriculture. The upper Jordan is fed by three major springs, the Hasbani (in Lebanon), the Banias (in Syria), and the Dan (in Israel). The major tributary of the Jordan, the Yarmuk River, originates in Syria and Jordan and comprises part of the border between these countries and Israel before flowing into the Jordan River. The quality of Jordan River water is very good up to the point where it enters Lake Tiberias (also known as the Sea of Galilee); by the time it enters the Dead Sea, the water remaining in the Jordan has become too salty to use. Israel normally uses about 1,600 to 1,800 million cubic meters of water per year from all sources, including ground water, reuse, and the Jordan Basin. Jordan has usually derived between 700 and 900 MCM/year of usable water from all sources, including ground water and the Yarmuk. Israel depends on fresh water resources originating in the occupied territories for about one-third of its total supply. Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, this basin has been the center of intense interstate conflict, and the dispute over the waters of the Jordan River is an integral part of this conflict. When Syria tried to stop Israel in the 1950s from building its National Water Carrier--a system to provide water to southern Israel--fighting broke out across the demilitarized zone. When Syria tried to divert the headwaters of the Jordan away from Israel in the mid- 1960s, Israel used force, including air strikes against the diversion facilities. These military actions contributed to the tensions that led to the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, which in turn led to the occupation of much of the headwaters of the Jordan River by Israel. Tensions also exist in the Jordan Basin between Syria and Jordan over the construction and operation of a number of Syrian dams on the Yariuk River, and among all the riparians over water quality. Yarmuk River The Yarmuk river originates on the eastern margin of the rift in a complex of wadis developed in quaternary volcanic rock overlying late Mesozoic and early Cenozoic carbonate rocks. Of the 7,252 sq km of the Yarmuk basin, 1,424 lie within Jordan and 5,828 within Syria. Flow of the Yarmuk is derived from winter precipitation that averages 364 mm per year over the basin. Flow of the Yarmuk is supplemented by spring discharge where surface water is briefly abstracted under ground in highly permeable zones in the lavas; some further spring discharge may be channeled to the surface or wadi floors via solution parkways in the underlying limestones. Salinity of the Yarmuk does not exceed 15 ppm. The main trunk of the Yarmuk forms the present boundary between Syria and Jordan for 40 km before it becomes the border between Jordan and Israel; where it enters the Jordan 10 km below Lake Tiberias. The Yarmuk contributes about 500 MCM per year, none of which is contributed from the part of the valley where Israel is riparian. West Bank Ground Water Aquifers In addition to the surface waters of the Jordan Basin, water for Israelis and Palestinians living on the West Bank of the Jordan comes in large part from three ground water aquifers that underlie the region. The occupation of this area by Israel in 1967 has deprived residents of the West Bank of the control of a significant fraction of their available water supply. By some estimates, 40 percent of the ground water upon which Israel is now dependent--and more than a third its sustainable annual water yield-- originates in the occupied territories. Indeed, almost the entire increase in Israeli water use since 1967 derives from the waters of the West Bank and the Upper Jordan River. Though no accurate studies have been published, it is estimated that the long-term potential yield of these aquifers is just under 700 million cubic meters per year, of which about 180 MCM/year is brackish water. These aquifers are replenished almost entirely by rainfall on the West Bank. The largest of the aquifers, the Western (called the Yarkon-Taninim aquifer in Israel) flows toward the Mediterranean Sea. This ground water supply is tapped extensively by Israel, primarily from within the boundaries of pre-1967 Israel. The other aquifers are also largely controlled and used heavily by Israel, both within Israel proper and in the settlements in the occupied territories. The control of the waters from these aquifers is one of the major sources of conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Among the unresolved questions are the extent to which these three aquifers are used, disputes over their control and management, uncertainties about the effects on water quality of large withdrawals, and arguments over the yields that can be provided safely. The Tigris, Euphrates River Basin and Shatt Al-Arab The Tigris and Euphrates rivers are among the largest in the region. Both rivers originate in the mountains of Turkey, flow south through Syria and Iraq, and drain through the Shatt Al-Arab waterway into the Persian Gulf. Several tributaries of the Tigris drain the Zagros mountains between Iran and Iraq, and 15 percent of the Euphrates Basin is in Saudi Arabia, though essentially none of its flow is generated there. Ninety percent of the water in the Euphrates River originates in Turkey, though Turkey only has 28 percent of the area of the Euphrates Basin. Almost all of the remainder of the flow originates in Syria. Turkey, Syria, and Iraq have long been at odds with each other in constantly changing combinations. All three nations have large and rapidly growing populations; ambitious irrigation plans requiring significant expansion of water withdrawals, and no explicit agreement has ever been reached about water allocations, water quality controls, and joint watershed management. While Syria has other water resources, these are largely tapped, or like the Yarmuk, contested, and the Euphrates is the only major river crossing its territory with reliable annual flows. Iraq is the most heavily dependent upon the Euphrates at present, but it has an alternative source of water in the Tigris system, which is lightly used at present. Recent developments in Turkey on the upper portion of the Euphrates, particularly the completion of the massive Ataturk Dam, are viewed with mixed feelings. Such developments could help to reduce the extreme variations in flow and ensure predictable supplies in downstream countries, but they could also reduce overall flows to the two downstream countries by 50 percent or more, especially during low-flow years. No formal agreement has yet been reached on minimum releases by either Turkey to Syria, or by Syria to Iraq. Iraq believes that full development of the Turkish Southeast Anatolia Development Project, and the more modest irrigation plans in Syria, would deprive Iraq of sufficient water for its own irrigation plans. Water quantity is not the only concern facing Euphrates basin countries. The quality of Euphrates river water is also increasingly being affected by withdrawals and irrigation return flows. A large portion of the water entering Iraq already consists of agricultural return flows containing both agricultural chemicals and high salinity. Attempts to establish joint management of the basin have not yet succeeded, in part because of the constantly shifting political situation and in part because of the complexity of the hydrologic regime. For thirty years, negotiations among the three riparians have been unavailing. Water-related disputes first arose in the basin in the 1960s after both Turkey and Syria began to draw up plans for large-scale irrigation withdrawals. In 1965, tri-partite talks were held in which each of the three countries put forth demands that, together, exceeded the natural yield of the river. Also in the mid-1960s, Syria and Iraq began bilateral negotiations over formal water allocations, but by the end of the decade, no formal agreement had been reached. In the 1970s, an agreement was reached that allocated portions of the overall flow to both Iraq and Syria, but this agreement was never signed. In mid 70s, dams at Keban, Turkey and Tabqa, Syria were completed and their reservoirs had begun to fill, reducing flows to Iraq. In 1974, Iraq threatened to bomb the Al-Thawra dam in Syria and massed troops along the border, alleging that the flow of water to Iraq had been reduced by the dam. In spring of 1975, the tensions between Iraq and Syria reached a peak as Iraq claimed that Syria was intentionally reducing flows to intolerably low levels. The angry confrontation ended just short of military action with mediation by Saudi Arabia. In the last few years, Turkey's new water-supply projects have been the focus of new political concerns in the basin. Tensions arose in early 1990 when Turkey completed construction of the Ataturk Dam and closed the dam to begin filling the reservoir, interrupting the flow of the Euphrates for a month. Despite advance warning from Turkey of the temporary cutoff, Syria and Iraq both protested that Turkey now had a water weapon that could be used against them. Indeed, in October 1989, Turkish Prime Minister Ozal threatened to restrict water flow to Syria to force it to withdraw support for Kurdish rebels operating in southern Turkey. Then, in January 1990, downstream releases of the river were stopped for 27 days to fill the dam. While Turkish politicians claimed that this shutoff was entirely for technical, not political reasons, Syrian officials argue that Turkey has already used its power over the headwaters of the Euphrates for political goals and could do so again. When the Turkish projects are complete, the flow of the Euphrates River to Syria could be reduced by as much as 40 percent, and to Iraq by up to 80 percent. The ability of Turkey to shut off the flow of the Euphrates, even temporarily, was noted by political and military strategists at the beginning of the Persian Gulf conflict. In the early days of the war, there were behind- the-scenes discussions at the United Nations about using Turkish dams on the Euphrates River to deprive Iraq of a significant fraction of its fresh water supply in response to its invasion of Kuwait. While no such action was ever taken, the threat of the "water weapon" was again clear. The Nile River Basin The Nile River is the longest river in the world, flowing over 6800 kilometers from the highlands of central Africa and Ethiopia through nine nations to the Mediterranean. The watershed covers nearly 10 percent of the African continent. The nations that share the Nile are Egypt, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zaire, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. Although the principal water users are Egypt and the Sudan, Nile River runoff is generated almost entirely in the other seven countries. Two major tributaries form the Nile, the White Nile, which starts in central Africa's Lake Plateau region, and the Blue Nile, originating in the highlands of Ethiopia. More than 80 percent of the Nile's flow comes from the torrential seasonal flows of the Blue Nile. The Nile River is of tremendous regional importance, vital for agriculture in Egypt and Sudan. Ninety-seven percent of Egypt's water from the Nile River, and more than 95 percent of the Nile's runoff originates outside of Egypt, in the other eight nations of the basin. The Nile valley sustained civilizations for over 5 millennia, but historical evidence suggests that the populations of ancient Egypt never exceeded 1.5 to 2.5 million people. Today, Egypt struggles to sustain a populations rapidly approaching 60 million, on the same limited base of natural resources. Additionally, Egypt's population grows by another million people every 9 months. Additional water development in other nations of the Nile Basin, particularly Ethiopia, could greatly increase tensions over water in this arid region. Concern over the security of Egypt's water supplies led President Anwar Sadat to say in 1979, "The only matter that could take Egypt to war again is water." More recently, Egypt's Foreign Minister, Boutrous Boutrous Ghali, now Secretary General of the United Nations, was quoted as saying "The next war in our region will be over the waters of the Nile, not politics." While these statements partly reflect political rhetoric, they indicate the importance of the Nile to Egypt. The Litani and Orontes River Basins Two other important rivers flow through parts of the basin -- the Orontes and the Litani. The Litani River is the only important regional river entirely within one country--Lebanon, while the Orontes is shared by Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. More over, the Litani is the only major river that has not been tapped to its limit, and total current use is considerably less than total supply. The Litani River rises in the mountains surrounding the Bekaa Valley and flows 145 kilometers south and west into the Mediterranean Sea. The waters of the Litani River provide approximately 40 percent of Lebanon's total electricity supply and are very high quality, although the effect of current agricultural water use in the lower Litani has not been documented. The Orontes originates in central Lebanon and flows north through Syria and Turkey before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. Three-quarters of the basin is in Syria and the major use of Orontes River water is for irrigation in Syria's Ghab Valley. Although there may be some surplus water in the basin, additional developments in Syria and contamination of the water by sewage and industrial effluents limit any significant shared use of Orontes water. Conflicts over Other Middle East Water Resources The 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War underscores many other connections between water and conflict. During this war, water and water-supply systems were targets of attack, shared water supplies were used as instruments of politics, and water conveyance systems of both sides were targeted for destruction. Most of Kuwait's extensive desalination capacity was destroyed by the retreating Iraqis. Oil spilled into the Gulf threatened to contaminate desalination plants throughout the region. And the intentional destruction of Baghdad's modern water supply and sanitation system was so complete that the Iraqis were still suffering severe problems rebuilding them in 1993. FUTURE CONFLICTS OVER WATER IN THE MIDDLE EAST While water resources are only one source of tension in the Middle East, pressures over water are likely to grow in the future because of demographic trends, changing patters of water use, and the possibility of changes in supply posed by global climatic change, the so-called "greenhouse effect." Few of the countries in the region believe that they have adequate water for their current populations; almost none believes that they can continue to provide adequate water as their populations continue to grow and as industrial and agricultural activities increase their demand for fresh water. In some of the most water-short regions of the Middle East, most notably Israel, the occupied territories and Jordan, populations are expected to grow extremely rapidly, (See Table 2). At the same time, new demands for water are putting pressure on existing supplies. In Israel and Jordan, projected population growth could require the severe restriction or complete elimination of irrigated agriculture over the next several decades, just to free up sufficient water to provide a reasonable minimum amount to their populations. Click here to view image At the same time, all debates about regional water supplies assume that natural water availability in the future will not change, and will be subject only to natural variations in flow. In fact, this assumption may no longer be true because of possible changes in the global climate. Global climatic change will affect water availability in many ways, though the precise nature of such changes is still obscure. Climatic changes could both increase and decrease overall water availability in different times and in different places. Despite the limited ability of the current models to accurately project future conditions, even slight decreases in long-term water availability will place severe political strains on the region, as seen during the period 1979 to 1988, when a drought reduced the average runoff in the Nile by only 10 percent. While we cannot predict with confidence the nature of future climate changes in the region, there are indications that long-term decreases in flow exceeding 10 percent are possible. Some preliminary detailed modeling of the Nile Basin suggests that Nile runoff could decrease by as much as 25 percent under some plausible conditions, with even more significant changes in seasonal flows. Ironically, the possibility of increases in runoff during the snowmelt season raises the specter of increased frequency of severe floods, as experienced in the Sudan in 1988. Our challenge is to identify where climatic changes may worsen the likelihood of water-related tensions and to work to reduce the probability and consequences of those conflicts. REDUCING CONFLICTS OVER WATER There is no single solution to Middle East water problems, and ultimately, there will have to be a combination of efforts and innovative ideas applied. Formal political agreements will have to be negotiated on how to apportion and manage the shared surface and ground water in the region, particularly in the Jordan and Euphrates river basins, and in the occupied territories. Unless all riparians are included in these agreements, conflicts will remain. In particular, definitions of "equitable utilization" of the existing water resources will have to be negotiated and applied. Difficult decisions will also have to be made about priorities of water use within each country. Israel is wrestling with the conflicts between urban and rural water demands, and between the agricultural and domestic sectors while Jordan is trying to improve its water-use efficiency. And all parties are exploring ways of increasing supply within serious economic and environmental constraints. Sharing of expertise, hydrologic data, and exploring joint activities offers the best opportunity for reducing the risks of future tensions over water in the Middle East. Reallocation of Current Supplies The conflicts over water in the Middle East are not only about overall water availability, they also have their roots in the control of existing water. In the Jordan Basin, control over shared ground water resources underlying the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are at the heart of the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. In 1967, Israel issued Military Order 92, which prohibited the drilling of new wells without permission from the military authorities, the fixing of quotas for the pumping from existing wells, limitations on maintaining wells, and the expropriation of wells in all expropriated Arab lands. The Palestinians claim that these restrictions have effectively frozen Palestinian utilization of water in the occupied territories, and has resulted in insufficient water for urban and industrial use, and no new development for increased agricultural development. At the same time, Israel has permitted new water to be developed for new Jewish settlements in the areas. The perception that much of this water goes to wasteful irrigation of lawns and the construction of swimming pools has not helped. While many Israelis, therefore, argue that a larger water supply would help reduce tensions, Palestinians insist that a discussion of reallocation of water rights and control over the existing supply must precede any major efforts to enhance total availability. Unless these issues are dealt with directly, the chances of resolving other water problems in the region are limited. Effective Joint Interbasin Management For all of the countries of the Middle East, long-term sustainable economic development will depend in large part upon access to clean and dependable fresh water. Access to water, in turn, will depend upon region wide comprehensive management of the shared major rivers and ground water basins of the Middle East. Although new sources of water supplies may eventually be developed, cooperation over the existing water resources is essential; unless current water supplies are equitably and efficiently allocated and used, agreements to increase the overall pie will be stymied. Successful basin-wide agreements depend upon the willingness of the parties to talk and upon the availability of complete data on water availability and use. Up until now, such data has routinely been withheld by all sides complicating negotiations. We are rapidly approaching a point, however, where withholding should be perceived as a political liability, rather than a political advantage. Making hydrologic remote-sensing, and other geographical data freely available to all parties should be a major priority and could be done using electronic data-handling systems and exchanges, such as is now occurring on Internet and related systems throughout the world. This point is a major focus of discussion in the ongoing multilateral peace talks. Increased Efficiency of Use Even modest increases in the efficiency of agricultural water use and decreases in consumptive use could dramatically increase overall availability in other sectors. Increasing the efficiency in the region appears to be the most economical and perhaps least controversial of all proposals. Despite the fact that Israel is the most water- efficient country in the world, continued improvements are both possible and absolutely necessary. Israel has pioneered many improvements in agricultural irrigation efficiency and the recycling and reuse of wast water for certain uses. Jordan is now implementing similar measures to cope with their increasing water problems. In Jordan, the overall efficiency of water use in the agricultural sector is about 40 percent, and evaporation rates from open irrigation canals in the Jordan Valley and seepage losses from those canals are high, mainly to farmers. A major area for increasing the efficiency is wastewater reuse and water reclamation. In Israel, substantial advances have been made in water reclamation and reuse -- Tel Aviv, is reusing 36 percent of its wastewater for purposes other than drinking water and overall 5 percent of Israel's entire use is recycled wastewater. By 2000, the Jordan Water Authority expects that one-quarter of east Jordan Valley irrigation water will be recycled sewage water. While this water will be limited by religious, health and environmental concerns, the technology exists to adequately clean and recycle wastewater for many purposes. New Supplies The traditional reaction to resource pressures has long been focused on how to increase supplies, and this is true in the Middle East as well. There are two principal ways to do this: bring in outside sources of water, and capture unused portions of the currently supply by building reservoirs to store flows during wet periods for use during dry periods. Many ideas for developing new sources in the Middle East have been proposed, including building desalination plants, constructing enormous pipelines to divert underused rivers in Turkey or Pakistan to the parched Middle East and Persian Gulf region, tankering or towing enormous bags of fresh water to coastal areas, laying aqueducts from the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea to generate electricity and desalinate salt water, and putting new reservoirs on all major rivers to increase storage for dry periods. All of these proposals are controversial. Uncertain economic and environmental costs, coupled with the intense political disputes over control of water, make the construction of new facilities extremely unlikely in the absence of a lasting political settlement. on the other hand, it is likely that some new sources of supply will eventually be developed as the economic value of water rises. Politics and International Law International water law and institutions have important roles to play despite the fact that no satisfactory water law has been developed that is acceptable to all nations. Developing such agreements is difficult because of the many intricacies of interstate politics, national practices, and other complicating political and social factors. For nations sharing river basins, factors affecting the successful negotiation and implementation of international agreements include whether a nation is upstream, downstream, or sharing a river as a border, the relative military and economic strength of the nations, and the availability of other sources of water supply. In the last few decades, however, international organizations have attempted to derive more general principles and new concepts governing shared fresh water resources. The International Law Association's Helsinki Rules of 1966 (since modified) and the work of the International Law Commission of the United Nations are among the most important examples. In 1991, the International Law Commission (ILC) completed the drafting and provisional adoption of 32 articles out he Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses. Among the general principles set forth are those of equitable utilization, the obligation not to cause harm to other riparian states, and the obligation to exchange hydrologic and other relevant data and information on a regular basis. Questions still remain, however, about their relative importance and means of enforcement. In particular, defining and quantifying "equitable utilization" of a shared water supply remains one of the most important and difficult problems facing many nations. Until now, individual water treaties covering river basins have been more effective, albeit on a far more limited regional basis, than the broader principles described by the ILC. Such treaties have helped reduce the risks of water conflicts in many areas, but some of them are beginning to fail as changing levels of development alter the water needs of regions and nations. The 1959 Nile River Treaty and some limited bilateral agreements on the Euphrates between Iraq and Syria, and Iraq and Turkey, are good examples of treaties now under pressure because of changes in the political and resource conditions of the region. To make both regional treaties and broader International agreements over water more flexible, detailed mechanisms for conflict resolution and negotiations need to be developed, basic hydrologic data needs to be acquired and completely shared with all parties, flexible rather than fixed water allocations are needed, and strategies for sharing shortages and apportioning responsibilities for floods need to be developed before shortages become an important factor. For example, the 1959 treaty between Egypt and the Sudan allocates fixed quantities of water, based on assumptions about the total average flows of each river. Mistaken estimates of average flows, or future climatic changes that could alter flows, make this type of allocation rigid and prone to disputes. Proportional sharing agreements, if they include agreements for openly sharing all hydrologic data, can help to reduce the risk of conflicts over water, and modifications to these treaties should be undertaken by their signatories now, before such changes become evident. In summary, existing institutions appear sufficient to design and implement the kinds of conflict resolution mechanisms designed above, but some major improvements in them are needed. The UN has played an important role, through the International Law Commission, in developing guidelines and principles for internationally shared watercourses, but it should continue to press for the adoption and application of the principles in water-tense regions such as the Jordan and Euphrates river basins. Similarly, bilateral or multilateral river treaties have been effective in the past, but they need to consistently include all affected parties, they must include a joint management committee empowered to negotiate disputes, and they should be flexible enough to adapt to long-term changes in hydrologic conditions, such as those that may result from global climatic change. Finally, disputes over shared ground water resources are particularly important in the Middle East, yet international ground water law and principles are poorly developed. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? Enormous difference remain among the parties. Jordan still has a serious dispute with Syria over the damming of and withdrawals of water from the Yarmuk River; no formal agreements on water rights have been worked out between the Palestinians and Israel; Turkey, Syria, and Iraq have no formal treaty allocating the waters of the Euphrates; and rapidly growing populations throughout the region are competing for an inadequate overall water supply, raising unanswered questions about the costs of alternative water sources. At the broadest level, the Middle East needs a comprehensive framework for planning and managing shared water resources. Such a framework could be convened by third-party nations and institutions, and would include regional and national studies on water supply and demand, the development of standards for the collection and dissemination of data, the establishment of Jordan and Euphrates river basin authorities that include all riparians, the establishment of Jordan and Euphrates river basin authorities that include all riparians, and the identification of mechanisms for implementing joint projects. Some of the goals of a framework water convention would include identifying water-use efficiency capabilities and goals, means for shifting water use within and among sectors, and objectives for providing new supplies. The opportunity for conflict over water in the Middle East is high, but the opportunity for cooperation also exists, if we can see how to reach it. END NOTES 1. Thomas Naff and Ruth C. Maston, Water in the Middle East: Conflict or Cooperation. 2. T. Naff, The Jordan River Basin; Politics & Economics. 3. M. Lowi, The Politics of Water Under Conditions of Scarcity and Conflict. 4. P.H. Gleick, The Implications of Global Climatic Changes for International Security. 5. G. Baskin, The West Bank and Israel's Water Crisis. 6. Nader Al-Khalib, Palestine Water Rights. 7. M.F. Abu-Taleb, E. Salameh, Water Resources Planning and Development in Jordan. 8. U.N. International Law Commission. 9. Stephen McCaffrey, Water, Politics and International Relations. 10. Peter Gleick, Water and War in the Middle East. 11. Leslie Schmida, Keys to Control Israel's Pursuit of Arab Water Resources.
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