Water Security and Water Diplomacy in the Middle East

24 October 2019
East Jerusalem

The Middle East is one of the most water scarce region in the world. The political instability and military conflicts in the region exacerbate the already precarious situation, affecting many fields, from public health to economic development. More than 60% of the population lives under conditions of high surface water stress with remarkable regional differences within the area.

Public authorities often try to “securitize” water, considering it as both a public utility and a strategic resource. For this reason, water can easily become a source of dispute and conflict between national states, leading to more instability in the region.

The workshop examined how water could become a source of cooperation in the region, instead of a source of conflict. During the workshop case studies of cooperation and cross border agreements were presented. Furthermore, the risks and challenges of water-energy nexus were analysed. Finally, the de-securitization of water was studied as a crucial step toward building a solid water diplomacy.

The workshop was organized by IPCRI and Arava Institute in the framework of EuroMeSCo ENI Project, co-funded by the European Commission and the IEMed.


9.10 - 9.25 Welcome Remarks

Gerard Krause Head of Cooperation EU Delegation to West Bank, Gaza Strip and UNRWA

9.25 - 9.40 Introduction

Shira Kronish Associate Director Arava Institute
Federico Tosi Junior Research Fellow IEMed – The European Institute of the Mediterranean

9.40 – 10.20 Kidron Wadi Nasr – Success and Challenges

Jawad Shoquir Associate Professor and Expert on Water

10.20 - 11.00 Water Security in Israel, current approach and challenges

David Katz Lecturer of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies University of Haifa

11.00 – 11.30 Coffee Break

11.30 – 12.30 The Current State of Water

Mahmoud Shattat Senior Water and Sustainable Energy Specialist Oxford Policy Management

12.30– 13.30 Water Related Cooperation and Diplomacy

Ali Oguz Diriöz Assistant Professor TOBB University of Economics and Technology

13.30 – 14.30 Lunch

14.30 – 15.30 Desalination and the Nexus of Water, Energy and Security

Giulia Giordano International Affairs Manager Ecopeace Middle East

15.30 – 16.30 De Securitization of Water as a Key for Water Diplomacy

Christiane Frohlich Research Fellow The German Institute of Global and Area
Itay Fschhendler Associate Professor Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations

16.30 – 17.00 Locally Based Water Security

Shira Kronich Associate Director Arava Institute

17.00 – 17.30 Wrap-up Session

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