Today’s rollout of a draft model Israeli-Palestinian water accord by EcoPeace/Friends of the Earth Middle East (FOEME) demonstrated several of the salient but frustrating truths about this most urgent area of conflict.
First, it’s solvable. With proper planning, conservation, reuse, and production, there is enough water available for all 11 million Israelis and Palestinians living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Second, it has to be solved now. It can’t wait for a comprehensive peace agreement.
Third, the Palestinians aren’t getting their fair share—and it’s not just the Palestinians who are saying this. Nearly all Israeli experts agree.
Fourth, despite the direness of the situation, Israel’s leaders are doing little to create a political constituency for the changes required.
The FOEME draft agreement, written by David Brooks, a Canadian hydrogeologist and economist, and by Julie Trottier, a Belgian political scientist and chemist, proposes to get away from the zero-sum “dividing up the pie” way of addressing water conflicts and proposes to see water as a dynamic entity.