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Appendix III: Hydronationalism

The Israel Ministry of Agriculture Presents:


Water is an extremely scarce resource in Israel. In fact, it is in many ways the limiting factor on the country’s future development.

At present, all the known sources of supply are being almost fully exploited, and in some cases dangerously overexploited.

The latter two constitute subterranean reservoirs, containing approximately 60 per cent of Israel water supply. The water they store are affected, directly and indirectly, by civilian and ecological activity in Judea and Samaria - as to both the quantity and the quality of the water.



This is an important point to ponder for those advocates of Israeli concessions who believe the Jews should have a viable independent state in their ancient homeland. it is important to realize that the claim to continued Israeli control over Judea and Samaria is not based on extremist fanaticism or religious mysticism but on a rational, healthy and reasonable survival instinct.

The criticism levelled at the publication of the advertisement dealing with the country's water problem focuses on two major allegations:

  1. The subject matter was not within the scope of the Ministry's activities
  2. The advertisement constituted party-biased election propaganda

Both allegations are totally groundless.

The Nature of the Subject Matter

  1. The notional water system in its entirety (including Tahal - Notional Water Planning. Mekorot - Notional Water Supplier. and the Water Commissioner) are all subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture. Therefore the Ministry has a duty to warn the public of imminent dangers to the national water system whether the origin of these dangers be ecological processes or Possible policy decisions.
  2. This duty continues to exist even if in the Past the Minister's own party happened to point to these dangers whilst it was in opposition. Moreover it continues to exist even if it is difficult to reconcile the hydrological facts with ideological opinions of parties holding views opposed to those of the Minister's Party.
  3. The allegation that the question of authority and control over the water sources in Judea and Samaria is of no concern to the Ministry of Agriculture is totally without foundation. For example the former (Labour Party) Minister of Agriculture Katz-Oz related to precisely this issue in the very same spirit as expressed in the advertisement.

In a letter dated 14/5/89/ to Premier Shamir titled "The Security of the State of Israel's Water Today and in the Future" Katz-Oz proposed that the government "prepare a legal and political basis to insure continued Israeli control and administration of the water sources in Judea and Samaria. whatever the political situation in the future."

  1. Just how vital the issue of control of the water sources in Judea and Samaria is for the activities of the Ministry of Agriculture is reflected in the following excerpt from the Water Commissioners report to the Israeli Government. The report entitled "Political Arrangements in Judea. Samaria and Gaza, and their Influence on the Security of the Water of the State of Israel" (May 89) states:

The water sources of Judea and Samaria are intimately interconnected with the Principal water sources of Israel ... the quantities reaching Israel are exploited entirely as high quality groundwater. and constitute approximately half of the country's supply of drinking water.... It is physically Possible to increase the rate of pumping in

Judea and Samaria in the North and West regions to such a degree so as to cause the halt of pumping operations inside Israel....An additional danger to the groundwater in Judea and Samaria vises from sewerage and other sources of Pollution which will contaminate the water in the western regions. ." pp1-2.

  1. These facts hove immediate impact on agricultural policy and its planning. In a publication: " A Proposed Rehabilitation and Development Program for Agriculture" by the Ministry's Council for Planning and Development of Agriculture and Rural Settlements, and the Jewish Agency, it is stated. under the heading "The Water System Aims and Development Program" as follow :

The principles formulated for the water system are:

  1. Preservation of the various water sources. both as regards quality and quantity. and the prevention of over-exploitation.
  2. Ensuring the supply of drinking water to the population in the quantity and quality required.
  1. Clearly. from the report, of the Water Commissioner ((d) above ) it is impossible to preserve. ensure water supplies or Prevent over-exploitation of the system, if one does not have complete control over the water sources in Judea and Samaria (because of the principle of connecting vessels - see (i) below).
  2. The former Minister of Agriculture was aware of this fact and suggested together with his aforementioned proposal to ensure continued Israeli control over the water sources in Judea and Samaria ( c) above ) that Israel "Prevent any increase of the pumping operation in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
  3. How serious an influence the loss of control of the water sources would be, has been stressed by members of the academic community. In a memorandum to the Minister of Agriculture titled "The Water System - Its Condition and Cure" Prof. Szlavski of the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering of the Haifa Technion writes:

"The mountain water sources are controlled mainly by Arab settlements, a significant portion of which are over the Green Line. The past wars over water are liable to be a pale shadow of future wars over water..."

In the Globes daily (22.8.) the professor asserts:

"There is no doubt that the two populations. that inhabiting the mountains ridges (of Judea and Samaria) and that inhabiting the coast are supplied from the same water source. Those charged with the responsibility for the water system and its Planning must take account of this fact. . The concern is not only about unrestrained exploitation by those inhabiting the mountains. The is also a problem of the pollution of the water. The population of Judea and Samaria hove no central sewerage system or sewerage treatment. The is no doubt that this sewerage contaminates the source of water used by us.

  1. Support for this Position is voiced by Matti Hagai of Tel Aviv University in this thesis :Water Management in Israel: Views on Notional Planning". He writes:

Anyone who controls the water sources of Judea and Samaria can dry out, if ho so wishes, wolfs in the coastal Plain. Harod Valley and Bet She ' an valley. by the principle of connecting vessels ....

  1. In somewhat more sever tones the (left-wing) Ha'aretz newspaper warns:

Anyone who controls the water source of the West Bank can, quite simply dry out the coastal Plain in Israel. Control of the two major aquifers. drilling of deep bore-holes and subsequent intensive pumping in Western Samaria and in the Jenin and Tubas area are liable to leave the Jewish farmers of the Sharon without irrigation water, and the fields of the Jezre'el Valley devastated. from "Water - The Bone of Contention" Reuven Pedazur 25.4.89.

Clearly the prospect of Jewish farmers in the Sharon being left without irrigation water and devastated fields in the Jezre'el Valley are matters of very real and legitimate concern to the Ministry of Agriculture and one which it should address openly. When the Minister charged with the responsibility for both the national water system and the nation's agriculture sees Potential dangers &rising from Possible future policy decisions. who if not that Minister should alert the Public?

  1. It is true that the advertisement analyzes implications and clangors involved in future Political arrangements. but only in so far as they impinge on the question of water. However this is no more than an elaboration and explanation justifying former Minister Katz-Oz's claim to "prepare a legal and political basis to insure continued Israeli control and administration of the water source in Judea and Samaria whatever the political situation in the future."

From the above it is quite clear that the subject matter of the advertisement i.e. the control of the water sources in Judea and Samaria -was, and still is, one of the vital issues in the Ministry's field of activity. Bringing vitally important but little known facts, and their implications to the knowledge of the public is not only a real public service but a moral responsibility. The concealment or playing down of these facts (quite probably for Political reasons) constitutes a grave dereliction of duty by those formerly charged with the fate of nation's water system.

Clearly one cannot negate the right of a Minister to make Public the covert Policy of his predecessor simply because this policy is in line with the Minister's Publicly stated views on the subject Prior to his taking office.

  1. The advertisement constituted party-biase: election propaganda

This allegation is extremely difficult to comprehend since:

  1. There is no reference at all. neither explicit nor implicit, to any Political party whatsoever, much less any call to solicit votes for any specific party.
  2. There are several parties, both in the coalition and the opposition, which could enlist the contents of the advertisement to support their political views.
  3. The contents of the advertisement deal overtly with Policy issues previously handled covertly by a Minister of Agriculture from the Labour party. whose declared political platform is very different from that of the present Minister's party.
  4. It would be absurd to prevent a ministry from elaborating aspects of its policy, and its rationale, on the grounds that incumbent minister had. prior to taking office. voiced his opinion on matters for which the ministry has responsibility.
  5. The sensitivity of the national water system to whatever happens to the water sources in Judea and Samaria is an indisputable (and undisputed) hydrological fact. Therefore. the importance of control of the water sources in these areas is an inevitable corollary of this sensitivity. Illumination and articulation of these facts. and their implications, can in no way be considered Political propaganda.

If there is any Political aspect to the advertisement. it is in no way related to Party Partisan vote soliciting, but rather to the creation of public understanding concerning future initiatives of the Ministry in an area of its responsibility, initiatives which it considers essential in preventing the water issue in Israel from being transformed from an extremely grave problem into an insoluble one.

Consequently the Ministry of Agriculture is of the opinion the matter of the control and administration of the water sources in Judea and Samaria as one of vital importance to the existence of the State of Israel 'in general and its agriculture in particular.

Exposing these facts and their implication to the public even by unconventional means is both a Public service and a public duty.

Appendix IV: PRINCE Political Accounting System

The views of each political entity regarding a possible interbasin water transfer are likely to be dependent on the individual relationships among the entities as well as on attitudes toward "target entities."

To summarize the political positions of each of the players, I use a Political Accounting System (PAS) as described by Coplin and O'Leary (1974; 1976) and incorporating modifications for hydropolitics by Frey and Naff (1985). Each player's political attitude (Issue, Power, and Salience) is ranked for each of the feasible coalitions. Issue Position is scored from -3 to +3, reflecting, respectively, strongly negative and strongly positive attitudes towards each coalition.

In the case of hydrologic disputes, power can include riparian position and legal strength as reflected in a water-sharing treaty, as well as the more traditional military and political aspects, and is ranked from 0 to 3 to reflect increasing levels of power. Issue Salience is, simply, how important a proposal is to a political entity, and is also rated from 0 to 3 to show increasing salience. This measure includes also a summation of internal forces, many of which are described by Endtner (1987).

While I recognize both the general lack of enthusiasm for quantitative political analysis, and the elementary and subjective nature of the PAS (see, for example, Ascher [1989] for a thorough critique of the PRINCE method), I feel that its inclusion in the model is a useful first step in an attempt to incorporate political considerations in an interdisciplinary model.

Once each component is evaluated for each player for participating in each coalition, multiplication across will give a measure of a player's overall level of support or opposition to a proposed coalition. Adding these values for each actor involved will provide a ranking value for the proposal as a whole, which can be compared with the values for other coalitions, a higher number reflecting greater likelihood of support.

Coplin and O'Leary (1983) suggest a Modified PAS that provides an absolute measure to estimate the likelihood of a coalition being established. This is achieved by calculating A/(A + B + C), where A is the total scores of all the players in support, B is the absolute value of the total scores of those in opposition, and C is one-half the value of those with a neutral position.

Results of the PRINCE Political Accounting System, as applied to a series of possible coalitions for interbasin water transfers to the Jordan River watershed, are shown in table AIV.1 (from Dinar and Wolf 1992). The results are reported in chapter 4.

Table AIV.1 Results of the PRINCE Political Accounting System applied to possible coalitions for interbasin wafer transfers to the Jordan River watershed: Modified political accounting systems for the regional game

Riparian and target entities Issue position Power Salience Total Probability
Coalitions (EG), (IL), (GS), (WB)a 1.00
Coalition (KG; IL) 0.23
Nile Basin
Egypt -2 3 3 -18  
Sudan -3 2 2 -12  
Ethiopia -2 2 2 - 8  
Israel + 2 2 3 +12  
Gaza -1 1 1 -1  
West Bank -1 1 1 -1  
  Total -28  
Coalition (KG; GS) 0.89
Nile Basin
Egypt + 2 2 3 +12  
Sudan + 2 1 2 +4  
Ethiopia -1 2 2 - 4  
Israel + 1 2 3 +6  
Gaza + 3 1 3 +9  
West Bank + 2 1 1 +2  
  Total +29  
Coalition (KG; IL; GS) 0.64
Nile Basin
Egypt + 1 2 3 +6  
Sudan - 2 2 2 -8  
Ethiopia - 2 2 2 -8  
Israel + 2 2 3 +12  
Gaza +3 1 3 +9  
West Bank + 2 1 1 +13  
Coalition (KG; IL; WB) 0.64
Nile Basin
Egypt + 1 2 3 +6  
Sudan - 2 2 2 - 8  
Ethiopia - 2 2 2 - 8  
Israel + 2 2 3 +12  
Gaza + 2 1 1 +2  
West Bank + 3 1 3 +9  
  Total +13  
Coalition (KG; IL; WB; GS) 0.73
Nile Basin
Egypt + 1 2 3 +6  
Sudan - 2 1 2 -4  
Ethiopia - 2 2 2 -8  
Israel + 2 2 3 +6  
Gaza + 1 1 2 +2  
West Bank + 1 1 2 +2  
  Total +14  
Coalition (IL; GS) 0.0
Coalition (IL; WB) 0.0
Coalition (IL; WB; GS) 0.0

Source: Dinar and Wolf (1992) a. (EG), Egypt; (IL), Israel; (GS), Gaza; (WB), West Bank.

Appendix V: JRDNRVR. BAS projection model

The model used to project water supply and demand into the future is a fairly straightforward extrapolation model. Initial conditions for population, population growth, water supply, and current use are used to forecast future water demand as a function of population. Initially, future water supply is assumed to remain constant.

To allow for some flexibility for management purposes, the model is designed to be interactive, allowing a user to input a variety of technical and policy assumptions. The model takes these user-input variables and calculates population, water supply, and per capita water availability for Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and Jordan, over a 30-year time horizon. The model calculates a low-demand forecast, assuming that future urban consumption (personal and industrial) will grow in proportion to current use, and a high-demand scenario, allowing 100 m3 per person per year for urban use. Implicit in these calculations is the assumption that growth in agriculture will come through greater water efficiency and technology, and not through increased allocations to that sector.

Explicit assumptions include the accuracy of the initial conditions, growth rates, and water supply figures, and that these values will remain constant over time.

The input screens are as follows:

(c) Aaron Wolf

The Mideast is the site of both severe water shortage and of intense. often violent, political conflict. Because water scarcity and political tensions have been shown to he inextricably linked in that arid and volatile region, it is crucial to understand the political consequences of hydrological actions as well as the hydrological ramifications of political decision-making.

JRDNRVR.BAS generates future water supply and demand figures for Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, and Jordan, based on current patterns. You, the "hydro - strategic" planner, can make a series of technical and political assumptions to make the model fit a variety of future scenarios.

The two types of state variables are for water supply and populations. The base assumptions for the model are as follows:

Israel Current population - 4,600,000
Pop. growth rate - 1.6%
Annual water budget - 1800 MCM/yr.
West Bank: Current population - 900.000
Pop. growth rate 3.4 %
Annual water budget - 110 MCWyr.
Gaza Current population - 600,000
Pop. growth rate - 3.4%
Annual water budget - 130 MCM/yr.
Water potential - 70 MCM/yr.
Jordan Current population - 3,300,000
Pop. growth rate - 3.5%
Annual Water budget - 870 MCM/yr.
Water potential - 870 MCM/yr.

The model assumes that these variables are constant into the future but you can change any of the values by answering the questions which follow.

User's notes:

Would you like to skip the user's section and run the base model (y,n)?


Israel anticipates between one and two million Soviet Immigrants over the next decade. How many would you like to assume actually arrive (0-2,000.000)?

There are 2.2 million Palestinians registered world-wide as refugees. In the event of an autonomous Palestine on the West Bank, many of these refugees would likely immigrate to the area.

Would you like to assume that such an entity is created (y,n)?

Would you like to change the growth assumptions, due for example to increased religious fundamentalism or, alternately, to better family planning (y,n)?


Water supply is a combination of groundwater, surface water, and wastewater-reclamation. These values are considered constant unless changed as follows:

Would you like to assume such a distribution (y,n)?

Would you like to assume that such advances are made into the future (y,n)?

Two options are open to you:

  1. To leave the model as is, without incorporating these projects.
  2. To incorporate such projects by country, size and year.

NOTE: The model will delineate the 'water barrier' level to aid in planning. According to Falkenmark ( 1989) this is the amount of water per capita which a population in this region needs to fulfill its minimum hydrologic requirements. One strategy might be to run the model as is once to note the year in which 'water stress occurs, then run it again 'building' water projects as needed to alleviate the problems.

Please indicate the option desired (1-2)?

Would you like such a project built in Israel (y,n)?
In what year would you like the project completed?
How large should the project be (MCM/yr.)?
Would you like another such project in Israel (y,n)?

Would you like such a project built on the West Bank (y,n)?
In what year would you like the project completed?
How large should the project be (MCM/yr.)?
Would you like another such project on the West Bank (y,n)?

Would you like such a project built in Gaza (y,n)?
In what year should you like the project completed?
How large should the project be (MCM;yr.)?
Would you like another such project in Gaza (y,n)?

Would you like such a project built in Jordan (y,n)?
In what year would you like the project completed?
How large should the project be (MCM/yr.)?
Would you like another such project in Jordan (y,n)?


Appendix VI: Med-Dead/Red-Dead desalination project

The Med-Dead or Red-Dead Canal would allow desalination units of varying sizes, and using different methods, all along its route. The most likely locations and methods are listed in table AVI.1. The sizes and cost per unit water are not included, as such values are highly variable and dependent on site, energy costs, financing arrangements, and the salinity of the source water. Estimates usually range from US$1 to US$2/m3 plus the cost of delivery (see, for example, Glueckstern 1991).

In determining an order of priorities for water delivery, one might consider per capita availability as a factor along with cost of delivery and economic efficiency. For example, a lower current per capita availability for Gaza might suggest targeting that entity for initial water supplies, other factors being equal. Once per capita availability reaches that of the West Bank, the next lowest, that entity might receive allocations until availability reaches that of Jordan and then Israel.

Kally (1989) and others make the important point that the desalinated water itself does not have to be delivered to its destination, but "in-kind" transfers can be made instead. The most common example is water desalinated on the Mediterranean coast supplying Gaza or the Israeli grid in the Negev, in exchange for the transfer of a similar amount of Jordan River or Yarmuk water to the West Bank or Jordan.

Table AVI.1 Med-Dead or Red-Dead Canal as desalination project: The most likely locations of unite and methods Of desalination

Location Considerations
Technical Economic
Intake site (Gaze/Tel Aviv or Aqaba/Eilat: two large-scale units recommended) Should be first built Price of desalination could drop if brackish groundwater piped in
Could be dual-purpose multi-effect distillation  
Could spawn small-scale solar ponds with brine and sea water  
Outflow site (Dead Sea: three large-scale units) Three power sources are available: (1) hydro-power; (2) head differential for reverse osmosis; (3) large-scale solar lake Brackish water available close by and three clean power sources should help viability
Along canal route Several small-scale solar ponds and/or dual-purpose power stations could be built as needed over time Brackish water and/or Saudi support for fuel would be beneficial


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