Last updated on: 5/21/2008 4:48:00 PM PST

Which Treaties/Agreements Address the Issue of Water?



General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Mélanne Andromecca Civic, MA, Environmental Intelligence Analyst at the US Department of State, in a Mar. 1999 Global Issues essay entitled "Water Scarcity In The Jordan River Basin," wrote:

"The Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace of 1994, and the Agreement on Cooperation in Environmental Protection and Nature Conservation Between Israel and Jordan (Environmental Agreement) of 1995 are bilateral agreements calling for a cooperative approach for sharing and developing the Jordan River. The 1994 Israel-Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Agreement on the Gaza Strip and Jericho Area, and its successor, the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Interim Agreement) address cooperative water and sewage development. The 1996 Declaration of Principles for Cooperation Among the Core Parties on Water-Related Matters and New and Additional Waters (Declaration of Principles for Cooperation) is a multilateral agreement signed by Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian National Authority.

The [1994 Israeli / Jordanian] peace treaty [Annex II] acknowledges the insufficiency of freshwater sources for the region, and calls upon the parties to act in the 'spirit of cooperation' in resolving short-term water shortages. Proposals integrated into the treaty anticipate joint construction planning and management of a storage dam on the Yarmouk, and the cooperative management of the groundwater of Emek Ha'arava. Specific allocations of water from the Yarmouk and Jordan rivers informally incorporate international equitable utilization principles. The treaty additionally provides for a Joint Water Committee to function as the implementing body of the Program of Action, to oversee water allocation, storage, water quality protection, information transfers and data sharing, and generally to coordinate action in alleviating water shortages.

The [1995] Environmental Agreement, although not ratified, nevertheless demonstrates the recent reconsideration of cooperative management of shared natural resources between Israel and Jordan. Article One articulates the spirit of cooperation: 'The parties shall cooperate in the fields of environmental protection and conservation of natural resources on the basis of equality, reciprocity, and mutual benefit....They shall take the necessary measures, both jointly and individually, to protect the environment, and prevent environmental risks...in particular those that may affect or cause damage to...natural resources...in the region.' Article Five outlines various programs of cooperation including the exchange of information, the sharing of scientific and scholarly data, and the promotion of joint scientific and technical research, as well as joint development projects. Article Ten provides for establishment of a Joint Committee on Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Conservation. The Joint Committee is to propose new projects, as well as monitor existing projects and the general performance of both parties.

The [1995] Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip establishes, in Article 40 of Annex III, general principles for cooperation in water and sewage development, and provides for a joint water committee and joint supervision of shared resources, as well as cooperative enforcement teams.

The [1996] Declaration of Principles for Cooperation was the product of negotiations and cooperative studies of the Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources formed in 1992 to advance the Middle East peace process. The working group also endorsed the Water Data Banks Project in 1994 to regionally share and verify data, and to standardize collection techniques. The Water Data Banks Project promotes the regional management and protection of water resources with participation by scientific and technical experts from the several basin states."

Mar. 1999 - Mélanne Andromecca Civic, MA