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Jordan Basin

Project: CLICO
Country: Jordan
Size: 18 300 km²



 

The Jordan basin case study represents a critical element in CLICO's objective to carry out in-depth studies of several hydro-security hotspots in order to better understand the causal routes between vulnerability and conflict and the adaptive capacity of states and other actors under multiple stressors. Of 37 cases of violent interstate conflict over water resources between 1948-1998, 30 took place in the Middle East. The Jordan basin represents perhaps the most cited case of past hydro-conflict and water continues to be a source of tension. Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Territories all depend on the Jordan basin and all suffer from chronic water scarcity, and there are already indications that climate change may already be aggravating the situation in the region. Average rainfall since 1990 is significantly lower than in previous periods and droughts have been more frequent while populations have grown. Continued climate change presents a challenge of double exposure, threatening both the water resources themselves as well as the viability of the institutions currently in place to manage them.

The case study on the Jordan basin will identify the formal and informal policy mechanisms that exist to address this double threat, and the extent to which current institutions have the capacity and flexibility to adapt to it. This includes analysis of the water clauses within the Israel-PLO and Israel-Jordan peace agreements, as well as the protocols of the JWC meetings, and interviews with Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian water officials. Because water scarcity can aggravate existing conflicts, the Jordan basin case study should be a valuable contribution both for comparative analysis with other basins in the Mediterranean and for developing general indicators of vulnerability and adaptive capacity.

 

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