The underlying premise in this study is that the inextricable link between water and politics in the Jordan River watershed can be harnessed to induce ever increasing cooperation in planning and project implementation between otherwise opposed riparians, thus leading to peace in the region.
The book begins with a detailed description of the watershed and how human interaction has altered its hydrography. This is followed by a comprehensive history of water conflict and cooperation in the watershed, beginning with the origins of agriculture through to the hydropolitical intricacies of the twentieth century. The discussion next turns to an exploration of the possible usefulness of the physical sciences, law, political science, economics, game theory, and alternative dispute resolution to the process of conflict resolution. The heart of the study follows, with proposals for an integrated model for water basin analysis and conflict resolution. The author stresses that both the hydroscientific and hydropolitical aspects of watershed development must be addressed if water is to be used successfully as a catalyst for peace.
This highly relevant and insightful study of water and politics in the Middle East will be indispensable to scholars, water-resource planners, and decision makers concerned with the Middle East Water situation, and will be of interest also to those working in relation to the approximately 200 international watersheds around the world.
Aaron T. Wolf is Assistant Processor of Geography at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.