Water for peace?

Via the International Water Law Project blog hosted by Prof. Gabriel Eckstein (Professor of Water Law and Director, Center for Water Law and Policy Texas Tech University), we direct you to an NY Times editorial by Stanley Weiss addressing the central role water will play in the Middle East’s future.

Weiss is a former mining company exec and is the founder of the ominously titled Business Executives for National Security (BENS), described on its site as “a  nonpartisan organization of senior executives who use the best practices of business to strengthen the nation’s security.”

No time now to go into why we’re not as skeptical as usual about business executives as policy advisors. Check out his site and the many essays and op-eds he’s penned on a variety of topics.

Water distribution could be leveraged as a way to peace in the Middle East, Weiss believes. That would be nice, says Eckstein, but he believes that the political obstacles are likely insurmountable:

Weiss, however, also offers a prescription for averting the tragedy. Among his recommendations, water-rich Turkey should become a purveyor for the parched nations of the Middle East, including Israel, Jordan, Syria, the future Palestine, and possibly others. While such solutions have been proffered in the past, couched in the language of “peace pipeline” and “water plan for peace,” the politics of the region have always thwarted their realization. My sense is that they will continue to do so into the future.

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One Response

  1. I wanted to point out that while I may be skeptical of Weiss’s Turkish water solution, I do not believe that the political obstacles are completely insurmountable.
    As I pointed out in my posting (http://internationalwaterlaw.org/blog/?p=168), Weiss’ other recommendations do hit the mark. “Israel should be convinced to share its water expertise and technology with its Arab neighbors … The U.N. also should mobilize a global effort to improve desalination efforts to make them less expensive, less energy intensive, and more environmentally friendly. Lastly, a new effort on water management should be brokered between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to replace the failed Joint Water Committee.”
    Additionally, I proposed additional steps to overcome the politics and lack of trust in the region. These include development of new freshwater resources, and reduction of water dependency. But I leave the details for your readers to see on my site: http://internationalwaterlaw.org/blog/?p=168.

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