12 April 2012

Water Chat -- Yoav Kislev

Late in January, I spoke with Yoav Kislev about water in Israel and Palestine, a topic that attracts more heat than light.*

In our conversation, I learned a few things:
  • Israel does not "take" water directly from the West Bank (WB, even if it pumps water from the aquifer that lies under both countries, via pumps on the Israeli side of the border).
  • Israel supplies piped water to Palestinian villages as well as settlements.
  • Settlements do not pump water from inside the WB (this is controversial).
  • Israel collects WB wastewater and then re-sells the treated wastewater to Israeli farmers.
  • Israel wants to provide desal water to Gaza, but they are not welcomed.
  • Palestinian farmers are NOT allowed to drill more wells for irrigation.
There are many more details, so I invite you to listen to this discussion [36 min; 13MB MP3].

I am also VERY interested in your thoughts and additional information (facts, please) on these topics. (I will post another chat next week on water in Palestine.)

For more, read Yoav's papers, especially this one [PDF] on Palestinian water and this one on the water economy of Israel.

Bottom Line: Israel exerts very strong influence on water supplies to the West Bank and Gaza. Some people try to make this control "fair;" others try to use it for national/Zionist/greater Israel purposes.
* See this post on water in the middle east and this, this and this on Israel.

2 comments:

Yaniv Reich said...

I send this comment in the spirit of adding more light and not just heat.

I have not listened to the entire discussion, but the summary points that you list---which I presume came directly from Kislev---are misleading at best and ignorant of basic economics (e.g. externalities) at worst.

For more details on how Israel dominates a shared resource, which it provides either in great abundance or deprivation based on ethnic identity, I encourage you to read Amnesty International's report:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/027/2009/en/e9892ce4-7fba-469b-96b9-c1e1084c620c/mde150272009en.pdf

David Zetland said...

@Yaniv - Please listen to the chat b/c I'd like to get your informed opinion. There will be more on "dominance" next week. :)