Joint aquifer management: Institutional options

Marwan Haddad, Eran Feitelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Mountain Aquifer, composed of three sub-basins, supplies approximately a third of the Israeli water consumption and is the source of almost all the water supplied to the Palestinians in the West Bank. Due to the properties of this aquifer, it has long been suggested that it should be managed jointly. If the two parties do indeed intend to manage this shared resource judiciously, it is likely they will need to come up with innovative management structures. A series of options has been proposed in the past for such a structure (Feitelson and Haddad 1998). In practice, a coordinated management structure was established in the interim agreements (Oslo B) signed in September 1995. This structure is composed of a joint water committee (JWC) and joint supervision and enforcement teams (JSETs). Early experience with this structure led to arguments that it is insufficient and that there exists a need to move to more sophisticated structures (Nasseredin 2001). Practical steps to this end were also proposed in lieu of the permanent status negotiations that were expected at the time (Haddad et al. 1999). This essay considers possible frameworks for joint management structures between the two parties. It begins by briefly reviewing the set of options identified in prior work. Then, the implications of a complete breakdown in relations, resulting in separate management, are reviewed. A discussion of these implications shows that there are still options that may be worth pursuing. Some steps for advancing such options are raised in the conclusion.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationWater Wisdom
Subtitle of host publicationPreparing the Groundwork for Cooperative and Sustainable Water Management in the Middle East
PublisherRutgers University Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780813547701
StatePublished - 2010


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