Bulletin: Water in Israel

Articles

Thesis

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Reviews: Kislev, Water Economy of Israel

Kislev, Yoav. The Water Economy of Israel. Saarbrücken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing, 2014.

 
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Reviews

    • Becker, Nir.”Review.” Water Economics and Policy 1.3 (2015).

 

 

New Article: Bismuth et al, Technologies, Incentives and Cost Recovery (Water Pricing)

Bismuth, Christine, Bernd Hansjürgens, and Ira Yaari. “Technologies, Incentives and Cost Recovery: Is There an Israeli Role Model?” In Society – Water – Technology. A Critical Appraisal of Major Water Engineering Projects (ed. Reinhard F. Hüttl et al.; Cham: Springer, 2016): 253-75.

 

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-18971-0_16

 

Abstract

This chapter focuses on water policy reforms and the introduction of a new water pricing policy in Israel. These reforms have to be seen in combination with measures to extend the available water sources that have been introduced in Israel in recent years. The effects of the Israeli demand and supply management policy on the use and availability of the water resources is investigated, and the potential transferability of the Israeli experiences to other countries in the region is examined. We also discuss the contribution of the water policy reforms as part of possible options and alternatives to the planned RSDS Conveyance Project.

 

 

New Article: Kan and Kislev, Corporatization and Price Setting in the Urban Water Sector under Statewide Central Administration

Kan, Iddo, and Yoav Kislev. “Corporatization and Price Setting in the Urban Water Sector under Statewide Central Administration: The Israeli Experience.” In Use of Economic Instruments in Water Policy: Insights from International Experience (ed. Manuel Lago et al.; Cham: Springer, 2015): 135-46.

 

9783319182865

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-18287-2_10

 

Abstract

As in many European countries, all water sources in Israel are public property, and are centrally managed by the government. This is to facilitate correction of market failures associated with externalities, natural monopolies and equity considerations. The economic policy instrument (EPI) considered here comprises two aspects of the centralized approach: (1) an institutional reform: local services that were formerly provided by municipal water departments became the responsibility of corporations; (2) a price-scheme reform: urban water prices are set by the regulator subject to the constraint of overall cost-recovery at the national and municipal levels, combined with an egalitarian policy; the latter is realized in identical municipal end-users tariffs. We evaluate the environmental, economic and institutional aspects of these reforms, and point out two main conclusions. First, with respect to EPI implementation from the regulator perspective, the lesson learned can be summarized by the phrase “grasp all, lose all.” EPI reformation, in this case the establishment of regional corporations, should take account of unattainable objectives: “sanitizing” the political factors from involvement. The second lesson is associated with the challenge of designing a pricing mechanism that simultaneously achieves several potentially contradicting targets: costs recovery, creation of incentives for efficiency, and equality. Also here the mechanism was distorted by political pressures. According to the social norms as they are reflected by the resultant policy, equality overwhelms efficiency.

 

 

Thesis: Lippert, Detection of a Submarine Aquifer Offshore of Israel using LOTEM (in German)

Lippert, Klaus. Detektion eines submarinen Aquifers vor der Küste Israels mittels mariner Long Offset Transient-elektromagnetischer Messung, PhD Thesis, Universität zu Köln, 2015.

 
URL: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/6351/ [PDF]

 

Abstract

The importance of offshore submarine fresh groundwater bodies as well as of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) became commonly recognized in the recent years for groundwater management. The existence of submarine fresh groundwater bodies extending offshore to distances between a few meters to several tens of kilometers was reported all over the world and SGD was detected and studied also in the eastern Mediterranean, offshore Israel. The Mediterranean coastal aquifer of Israel is one of the main groundwater resources of the country. It has been exploited heavily and, as a result, the quality of water is gradually deteriorating. It is well known that the aquifer is grouped into four subaquifers, which were managed separately. The upper two sub-aquifers are known to be subjected to lateral seawater intrusion and to pollution from above whereas the lower ones are assumed to be, in places, blocked to the sea. For a long time, geoelectric and, particularly, geoelectromagnetic methods were leading geophysical techniques in solving various hydrogeological problems related to the characterization of groundwater salinity. This is due to a very close relationship, which exists between the salinity and electrical resistivity measured by the methods. In order to explore fresh groundwater below the sea the Long Offset Electromagnetic (LOTEM) method, which uses grounded lines (electric dipoles) as both transmitter and receiver antennae, is applied in the marine environment. The presented work is part of a Joint German-Israeli project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space (MOST). The LOTEM measuring system from the Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne is applied for the first time in the marine environment. Although marine Time Domain electromagnetic methods with a horizontal transmitter dipol are used by the oil-industry or other university working groups for similar targets, it was never reported, besides by the Israeli project partner Geophysical Institute of Israel, to be applied to such shallow waterdepths up to a maximum of 50 m. The main goal of this thesis is to detect the submarine aquifer and to examine its lateral dimension.

 

 
 

New Article: Dallasheh, Citizenship and Colonial Zionism in Nazareth

Dallasheh, Leena. “Troubled Waters: Citizenship and Colonial Zionism in Nazareth.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47.3 (2015): 467-87.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0020743815000501

 
Abstract
Focused on the contest over water management in Nazareth during the early years of Israeli statehood (1948–56), this article traces the negotiations that took place between Palestinian residents of Nazareth and Israeli state authorities. I argue that the struggle over this vital natural resource, in a region where it is in short supply was in some measure a matter of fulfilling practical needs, but it was also part of the process of negotiating citizenship. The story of Nazareth’s water in the early Israeli period is thus a microcosm of the incorporation of Palestinians as undesired and marginalized citizens into a self-defined Jewish state. Challenging the Palestinian resistance/collaboration dichotomy and the notion of a monolithic Israeli state, I show how both Palestinian citizens and Israeli authorities adopted wide-ranging positions on water management and its broad political implications. Although Palestinian citizens were able to use the space made available through citizenship to further their collective interests, they were ultimately unable to overcome the exclusions inherent to a political system that maintained the dominance of a Jewish majority over a Palestinian minority.

 

 

New Book: Burla and Lawrence, eds. Australia and Israel

Burla, Shahar, and Dashiel Lawrence. Australia and Israel. A Diasporic, Cultural and Political Relationship. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2015.

 

Shahar

 

Australia and the State of Israel have maintained a cordial if at times ambiguous relationship. The two countries are geographically isolated: strategic, economic and cultural interests lie increasingly with Asia for one, and with the US and the EU for the other. But for all that divides the two states, there is also much they share. Australia played an important role in the Jewish state’s establishment in 1948, and is home to the most Zionist centered Jewish diaspora globally. Jewishness for most Australian Jews has been shaped and defined by engagement with and support for Israel. At the heart of this engagement is a small but thriving Israeli community within the larger multicultural Australia.

Australia and Israel: A Diasporic, Cultural and Political Relationship draws attention to the important historical and contemporary nexus between this diaspora and its imagined homeland. The collection also considers the ways in which these two states mobilise national myths and share environmental challenges. In recent time relations between the two states have been tested by the illegal use of Australian passports in 2010, the mysterious death of dual national Ben Zygier, and growing disquiet within the ranks of the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens over Israel’s handling of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. One prominent world-wide issue is the Palestinian BDS (Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions) movement, which has attracted sympathy and support that has brought about substantive differences of opinion regarding its legitimacy within the Jewish Australian community. These issues demonstrate the multifaceted and complex picture of two very different nations, that nevertheless share an abiding connection.

 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: Why the Book?
Shahar Burla and Dashiel Lawrence

Part One Australia and Israel – Diasporic Relationship

1 Rewriting the Rules of Engagement: New Australian Jewish
Connections with Israel
Dashiel Lawrence

2 The Personal, the Political and the Religious: Bnei Akiva
Australia and its Relationship with Israel
Ari Lander

3 Israeli Government and Diaspora Mobilisation: The Flotilla
to Gaza and the Australian Jewry as a Case Study
Shahar Burla

4 The Place of Hebrew and Israel Education in Australian
Jewish Schools
Suzanne Rutland and Zehavit Gross

5 The Ausraeli Approach: the Diasporic Identity of Israelis
in Australia
Ran Porat

Part Two Australia and Israel – Political and Cultural Relationship

6 Overcoming Water Scarcity and Inequity in Arid Lands:
Comparing Water Management in Australia and Israel
Dominic Skinner and Stephanie Galaitsi

7 Ben Zygier’s Story and Australia–Israel Relations
Ingrid Matthews

8 A Fight Worth Having: Rudd, Gillard, Israel and the
Australian Labor Party
Alex Benjamin Burston-Chorowicz

9 An Alliance of Forgetting: National Narratives of Legitimacy
on the Occasion of Israel–Australia’s Joint Stamp Issue
Commemorating the Battle of Beersheba
Micaela Sahhar

Part Three Australia, Israel and the Boycott Divestment and
Sanction Scheme

10 The Australian Greens and the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict
Philip Mendes

11 Academic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: Implications
for Australian–Israeli Relations
Ingrid Matthews and James Arvanitakis

Conclusion: First Cousinhood, Political Unease, and the Limits
of Comparison
Fania Oz-Salzberger

The Editors and Contributors
Index

 

Shahar Burla is a research Associate at the Sydney Jewish Museum. He is the author of Political Imagination in the Diaspora: The Construction of a Pro-Israeli Narrative (2013). He has received several awards, including a President’s Fellowship for outstanding PhD student, Bar-Ilan University and the Menahem Begin Foundation academic award.

Dashiel Lawrence is a doctoral candidate at the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne. His research interests include Jewish diaspora–Israel contemporary relations, and Jewish critics of Israel.

 

 

New Article: Becker, Water Pricing in Israel

Becker, Nir. “Water Pricing in Israel: Various Waters, Various Neighbors.” Global Issues in Water Policy 9 (2015): 181-99.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16465-6_10

 

Abstract

Israel manages its water scarcity by a relatively unique combination of quantitative and pricing tools. As a semiarid climate country, efficient water pricing might prove to have much more potential welfare implications. The chapter contains a summary of the theoretical background of the different water pricing policies and reforms that have been recently implemented. The summary will then be accompanied by an effort to explain the rationale of the reforms. The chapter covers water pricing schemes in the various sectors and links them into one consistent policy vision. Currently, water pricing in Israel is more closely connected to the true scarcity value of this natural resource. Yet the goals and targets faced by water planners in Israel do not allow water prices to be the only allocation mechanism, and as such, a mixture of quantities and prices will be explored. The challenges faced now by the water regulators are new and contain pricing of different water sources (treated wastewater, desalinated water, etc.) for a variety of uses, including those that are characterized as nonmarket in nature (e.g., in-stream value) and those that should be based on basin cooperation among different countries (e.g., the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and, potentially, Syria and Lebanon in the future).

New Article: Ward and Becker, Economic Cost of Water Deliveries for Peace and the Environment in Israel

Ward, Frank A., and Nir Becker. “Economic Cost of Water Deliveries for Peace and the Environment in Israel: An Integrated Water Resources Management Approach.” Water Resources Research (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2014WR016783

 

Abstract

This paper presents a framework for discovering an economically viable water sharing plan among neighboring communities for promoting peace and environmental protection. Its application is to the Middle East in which Israel may be facing water supply obligations to address environmental requirements and for a possible a peace agreement with its Palestinian neighbors. The framework consists of integrating external factors, constraints, policy instruments, and targets. Our findings from a constrained optimization analysis of Israel’s national water system show that the costs of increased deliveries are dependent on two major issues: (1) achieving integrated water resources management (IWRM) in which efficient combinations of expansion from several supply sources and reductions in demands occur over time, and (2) the cost of desalination technologies. We identify a $US 1.46 billion price tag, in present value terms, from using integrated management of demand reduction and supply expansion under current desalination costs. Adjustment costs will decline both with anticipated reductions in desalination costs and with an efficient implementation of IWRM. These adjustments can contribute to moderating regional tensions and protecting key ecological assets while addressing water scarcity in a volatile corner of the world.

Cite: Fröhlich, The Israeli–Palestinian Water Conflict

Fröhlich, Christiane J. “Security and Discourse: the Israeli–Palestinian Water Conflict.” Conflict, Security & Development 12.2 (2012): 123-148.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14678802.2012.688290

 

Abstract

When conflictive viewpoints are discursively strengthened, they develop into a ‘conflict discourse’ with a specific discursive structure which perpetuates conflict, like the discursive securitisation of an issue for varying audiences. When they are weakened, however, societal discourse can potentially change so that agreement becomes possible again, thus achieving discursive conflict transformation. This article analyses the Israeli and the Palestinian water discourse. On both sides, the dominant discourse structures underscore the conflictive issues regarding the distribution of water between Israelis and Palestinians, thus making communication, let alone negotiation, downright impossible. While Palestinians regard the natural water resources as sufficient in principle and the existing scarcity as entirely politically induced, Israelis perceive the natural water resources as absolutely scarce while receiving major de-securitisation impulses from the possibility of desalination. In the respective (minor) counter-discourses, however, possible starting points for dialogue and conflict resolution are visible.