Water Politics with Israel’s Neighbors

Water is not only a vital part of life to survive, but a resource for all economies and functions of life. Therefore, it is not surprising to know that water is the centerpiece of the Middle Eastern politics. Israel has especially been scrutinized for its methods of sharing water with the Palestinians.  Furthermore, what makes it even more interesting is that Israel is the downstream user, pumping and controlling the water resources from the upstream Palestinians who are aquifer owners. The World Health Organization and the USAID both recommend a minimum of 100 liters of water per person/per day. The average water consumption in Israel is 183 L while the average consumption in the West Bank is 73 L. What causes this huge discrepancy? Largely, the main issue stems from the fact that the Palestinian population has yet been granted their legal entitlements from the water resources they formally share with Israel while on the other hand, Israel has invested and exponentially developed their technology on recycling water. While it is difficult to confront the water debate between the two States, this issue seems to be three folds — inequality in power, innovation, and ultimately, foreseen need.

By Leighanne Oh

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