Keywords: decision making models, transboundary water resources, regional planning, economics, Jordan River, risk management, water management, sustainability, sustainable management, water supply planning, water quality, water pollution, Israel
Risk management of transboundary water resources: sustainable water management of the River Jordan basin area
The River Jordan basin suffers from regional water scarcity, wide economic discrepancies and a long-lasting dispute over land ownership. Prolonged, widespread unsustainable management has significantly decreased the water flow and aggravated water pollution. The river is now seriously at risk of drying up, with the loss of a unique ecosystem with important religious and cultural significance. Sustainable management practices are needed, based on the local physical and hydrological conditions, the available technologies, the economic costs and the potential policy options. Our multidimensional model incorporates these factors; it provides a decision-making tool that supports urban and agricultural water supply planning, with predetermined water quality for each use. A case study in Israel yielded a framework for application of the model to transboundary water management, by adjusting it for the differing costs and technologies in the various countries involved. A variety of potential international agreements were considered as scenarios for the model.