Saturday, December 13, 2008

THE MID EAST CRISIS EVERYONE IGNORES

Gershon Baskin , The Jerusalem Post - The current water crisis is extremely serious. Years of mismanagement and irresponsible water policies are now being investigated by the state comptroller. This is not the first time that the water sector is under the scrutiny of a public investigatory committee. In June 2001 the Knesset conducted a similar investigation and reported on serious dysfunctionality, but it seems that very little has changed since then.

For at least 10 years water experts have been calling for increased investment in developing new supplies of water, mainly through desalination. But as usual here, the real policy makers are the "Treasury boys" who opposed spending millions of shekels on infrastructure and held up the developments for a decade. They finally had to give in both because of the increase in the water deficit (we pump more than we have and we continue to pollute fresh water sources all over the country) and as a result of the very powerful desalination lobby that has greased the wheels of bureaucracy with a lot of money. . .

The water crisis on the other side of the separation barrier is even more severe than in Israel proper. The Israeli-Palestinian water agreement that was signed in 1995 provided the Palestinians with increased quantities of water. The agreement was supposed to be "interim" to be followed by a permanent status agreement several years later. In the meantime, 13 years have passed, the population has grown, yet no additional allocations have been permitted. . .

It is true that in this joint water pool that we share, there is a zero-sum game. Whatever one side gets is at the expense of the other. Today when the water deficit is more than one full year of rainfall, division of the water resources or it reallocation is a reallocation of the deficit. If we fight over water, everyone loses. . .

Cooperation means changing the "hard disk" in our minds regarding the Palestinians. The occupation mind-set that guides the talks on water led by Kinarti and Nagar can only lead to bad agreements or to . . .

The key to resolving the water dispute is cooperation that will bring additional quantities of water to the area and better management and conservation of the water that we have. The international community has many times expressed its willingness to assist in any process that builds real cooperation, especially in the water sector.

Chuck Spinney's 2003 analysis of the water issue.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home