Changing the Nature of International Water Agreements in Areas of Conflict: The Israeli-Palestinian Case

Thursday, September 29, 2016 18:00to20:00
Centennial Centre CC1-163, 21111 Lakeshore Road, St Anne de Bellevue, QC, H9X 3V9, CA


The BRACE CENTRE FOR WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT and INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT invite you to attend a special seminar by Dr. David Brooks, Research Fellow - Water Conservation and Soft Path Planning, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, University of Victoria and Associate, Water Program, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Winnipeg, MB.

Transboundary water agreements are usually conceived as allocation agreements. In other words, water is treated as if it were a pie to be divided among the riparian states. This approach works for land, which is stable, but not for water, which not only moves along, across and under political boundaries but can be used over and over from the time it originates as precipitation. This paper describes a proposed joint management structure for the existing State of Israel and the future State of Palestine that allows for ongoing resolution of issues concerning fresh water, and does so in a way that effectively de-nationalizes and de-securitizes water uses. That is, water is shared by rules that are designed to protect the ecosystem for everyone’s benefit, and then deliver water to different parties in ways that allow for development while protecting ecosystems. Though looking toward a Final Status Agreement between Israel and Palestine, the draft proposal is designed in a way that allows it to be adopted and implemented in the near term, prior to that agreement.

Dr David B. Brooks was educated in geology and economics, and spent much of his professional career with Canada’s International Development Research Centre.  He was born in the United States in 1934, immigrated to Canada in 1970, and became a Canadian citizen in 1975.  After retiring in 2005, he continued with research and with advising several Canadian Non-Governmental Organizations on water and energy issues. His main research interests are split between water soft paths (an approach to sustainable governance of fresh water) and water demand management in the Middle East, with particular emphasis on Israel and Palestine.  Among his books are Zero Energy Growth for Canada (McClelland & Stewart, 1981); Watershed: The Role of Fresh Water in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (IDRC Books, 1994 - co-author); and Making the Most of the Water We Have: The Soft Path Approach to Water Management (Earthscan, 2009, co-editor).  In 2012 Dr Brooks received an honorary doctorate of environmental studies from the University of Waterloo.




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