Hydro-diplomacy, the Vehicle towards Peace in the Middle-East? by Norbert Lipszyc

de l'eau, par Norbert Lipszyc Crise mondiale de l'eau, par Norbert Lipszyc

The shortage of water in the Jordan basin, historically a source of conflict, could, through cooperation, become a vector of peace. Water is a vector of collaboration between humans, according to the Director of the “Cercle de l’Eau”, the European deputy Sophie Auconie.

Will the Middle-East believe this hope? The intent of Norbert Lipszyc’s book is to cover all aspects of the question of water supply and shortage in the Jordan Basin, Israel and its neighboring countries.

It addresses the following aspects:

  • Geography, rain regime and volumes of fresh water available
  • History and historical usage of the available water resources
  • Legal aspects and elements of international law
  • Needs and existing usages by all parties sharing the common resources
  • Technological developments to solve the problems of penury.
  • Geopolitical aspects, regional and bilateral agreements, cooperation on the ground, war and peace


Water has been a cause of war in the near East in the past, from the most ancient antiquity. After the creation of the state of Israel attempts to deprive Israel of its water resources have resulted in military actions; but, water has also been the early vector for the Oslo agreement, as discussions on this issue, considered as the most sensitive one geopolitically, have shown at the time that agreement was obtainable for the benefit of all. This has led to collaboration on the ground which has been effective despite the various intifadas and military events between Israel and the Palestinians, and contrary to the media image on this matter. In parallel, the technological means developed by Israel to compensate for the shortage of water have helped all Israel neighbors, showing the interests of peace for all.  Major advances, such as the agreement signed by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, sponsored by the World Bank will profoundly change the question of water in the Jordan Basin. Its consequences will be a correction of all the environmental damages caused by the over-exploitation of the past, and it will create the base for all parties for a dynamic economic development, eliminating at the end all needs for confrontation caused by the lack of this vital resource.

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Find this article in Israël Science Info n° 14

Israël Science Info