Water in the Middle East: A Geography of Peace

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Hussein A. Amery, Aaron T. Wolf
University of Texas Press, 2000 - Business & Economics - 293 pages
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Finding "streams in the desert" has never been more urgent for the peoples of the Middle East. Rapid population growth and a rising standard of living are driving water demand inexorably upward, while the natural supply has not increased since Biblical times. Ensuring a fair and adequate distribution of water in the region is vitally important for building a lasting peace among the nations of the Middle East.

Addressing water needs from a geographical perspective, the contributors to this book analyze and assess the impact of scarce water resources in the Jordan River basin countries and territories (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria) as these long-time antagonists work toward peace. After geographical and historical overviews, the authors envision the future-what the water issues may be when Israel and Syria begin negotiating, the "hydro-security" needs of each nation, and the difficulties of planning for uncertainty. Without proposing any one ideal scheme, they discuss the possibilities for cooperative sharing of water resources, while honestly acknowledging the political constraints that may limit such projects. The final essay speaks to the needs of the one party so rarely represented at the negotiating table—the Jordan River itself.

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About the author (2000)

Aaron T. Wolf is a Professor of Geography in the Geosciences Department at Oregon State University. His research and teaching focus is on the interaction between water science and water policy, particularly as related to conflict prevention and resolution. He has acted as a consultant to the World Bank and several international government agencies on various aspects of transboundary water resources and dispute resolution. Wolf is a trained mediator/facilitator, and directs the Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation, through which he has offered workshops, facilitations, and mediation in basins throughout the world. He coordinates the Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database, and is a co-director of the Universities Partnership on Transboundary Waters. He has been an author/editor for seven books, as well as almost 50 journal articles, book chapters, and professional reports on various aspects of transboundary waters.