On the geopolitics of water scarcity in the Middle East

Jordan River Basin

The peace process and its relation to water

under reconstruction

Introduction: the Middle East peace process

The Madrid Conference in October/November 1991 initiated a series of bilateral and multilateral tracks towards peace and stability in the Middle East in general, and between Israel and its neighbours.

Presently, the bilateral track prooved only successful with regard to Jordan, with which Israel signed a peace agreement in 1994. Water played an important part in the conclusion of the peace.
During the so-called Oslo peace process, a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian water conflict was postponed to negotiations that would lead to a final solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as such. As we know now, the series of bilateral agreements between Israel and the PLO / Palestinian Authority, starting with the Declaration of Principles in 1993 and already in a stalemate after the signing of the Interim Agreement in 1995, prooved no sustainable base for peace in the region.
Open bilateral talks between Israel and Libanon or Syria - including the shared water resources - are officially non-existing.

The Multilateral track resulted in a special Water resources Workgroup, next to other groups on security, refugees, economic development and environment.

Israel and the Palestinians: major agreements and evolutions

Israel and Jordan: major agreements and evolutions

Israel and Syria


Proceed to the special section with updates on internal and foreign water politics of Israel, Jordan, Palestine and Syria. With special attention to the summer water shortages and an archive on previous droughts:
"Water shortage in the Jordan River basin": some background on the summer crisises of 1998, 1999, 2000 and the predicted crisis of 2001 (March 2001).

Drôle de guerre?. The Israeli-Lebanese water conflict of September 2002.

Multilateral negotiations: the water resources workgroup