Reports and papers
Promoting water cooperation in the Middle East
Climate change exacerbates the pronounced water scarcity in the Middle East and also acts as a threat multiplier, for instance in the areas of health, food security and livelihoods. Increasing competition over water and the failure to address related challenges intensify tensions and conflicts within and between countries. Considerable tensions between countries and the polarising and emotional nature of water as an existential resource often prevent neighbouring states from concluding water agreements. Against this backdrop, the urgency for action is high, but the scope of action for traditional transboundary water agreements is limited.
In response to this challenge, this report proposes five water-related action areas in which water cooperation is ‘reimagined’ and pursued via thematic entry points of national and regional interest. The report looks into established resource management frameworks, less politicised water-related challenges or topics of increasing political urgency with a strong water component – all of which are already being addressed and debated at national and local levels. By linking them with regional dialogue, capacity development and joint strategies, these thematic clusters provide promising spaces for inter-state water cooperation.