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“The Management of International Water Disputes between Israel and Jordan”

Congress: 2008

Keyword(s): Managing International Rivers; Jordan River; Indus River
AbstractConventional reading of Israel and Jordan’s management of their water disputes—over the Yarmouk River, lower Jordan River, and Wadi Araba/Arava—has classified this case as either conflict or cooperation. This paper suggests that a better categorization of this case is that of unstable cooperation, because these states have oscillated from moments of political flare-ups when water disputes arose to behavioral altering cooperation. To document the presence of unstable cooperation, it is contrasted with that of conflict and cooperation. To illustrate the condition of conflict, I draw on Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan’s management of the Jordan River system from 1948 to 1967. During this time, these riparian states resorted to military means to manage their water disputes. To illustrate a condition of cooperation, I draw on the Indus River case from 1960 until 2007. The paper then considers the role of Joint Water Committee in sustaining this condition of unstable cooperation.
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