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close this bookCentral Eurasian Water Crisis: Caspian, Aral, and Dead Seas (UNU, 1998, 203 pages)
close this folderPart IV: The Dead Sea
close this folder10. Principles for confidence-building measures in the Jordan River watershed
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentBackground
View the documentHydrography
View the documentInternational water rights law
View the documentCooperative watershed development
View the documentTechnological and management alternatives for the future
View the documentConclusions
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentNotes
View the documentReferences


The Jordan River watershed, with all its competing national and economic pressures, provides a clear example of the strategic importance of water as a scarce resource. If emphasis is placed on easing regional water tensions, some breathing space might be gained, allowing for more complex political and historical difficulties to be negotiated. Because the water problems to be solved involve all of the parties in conflict, and because these issues are so fundamental, the search for regional solutions might actually be used as a tool to facilitate. People who cannot talk together about history or politics might talk about water if their lives and economies depended on it.

The present "hydropolitical" situation in the Middle East is one of intricate problems and delicate solutions. The equitable distribution of scarce water resources in the Jordan River watershed is particularly precarious. Both the dangers of conflict and the opportunities for cooperation are growing, as annual supplies are being surpassed.