Regional Water Banks Project (RWDBP)

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{{Conflict Toolkit}}
{{Conflict Toolkit}}
== Context ==
== Context ==
-
Middle East Peace Process  
+
Middle East Peace Process
-
Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources (1995- ongoing)
+
 
 +
Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources Project (1995- ongoing)
== Focus Areas ==
== Focus Areas ==
Water Cooperation Initiative
Water Cooperation Initiative
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Once the international and regional experts had formulated an implementation plan containing 39
Once the international and regional experts had formulated an implementation plan containing 39
-
recommendations, the RWDBP began working in 1995.<ref>Regional Water Data Banks Project (RWDBP) (2002). Regional Water Data Banks Project: Multilateral Working Group on Water
+
recommendations, the RWDBP began working in 1995.<ref>Regional Water Data Banks Project (RWDBP) (2002). ''Regional Water Data Banks Project: Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources, Middle East Peace Process''. Project Brochure.</ref> The Executive Action Team (EXACT) was established
-
Resources, Middle East Peace Process. Project Brochure.</ref> The Executive Action Team (EXACT) was established
+
as the steering committee of the RWDBP in order to ensure the implementation of the recommendations.
as the steering committee of the RWDBP in order to ensure the implementation of the recommendations.
EXACT consists of head representatives from the core parties (i.e. mainly of the PWA, the Jordanian Ministry of
EXACT consists of head representatives from the core parties (i.e. mainly of the PWA, the Jordanian Ministry of
Line 51: Line 51:
while the US acts as the ‘gavel-holder’, convening and chairing the meetings.
while the US acts as the ‘gavel-holder’, convening and chairing the meetings.
== The Experience: Challenges and Solutions ==
== The Experience: Challenges and Solutions ==
-
<!-- DESCRIBE THE CHALLENGE(S), ISSUES, CHOSEN APPROACH(ES) AND SOLUTION(S) -->
+
Based on RWDBP information materials<ref>See: http://www.exact-me.org; Regional Water Data Banks Project (RWDBP) (2002). Op. cit.</ref> and interviews, the project’s theory of change towards peace can be
 +
outlined as follows:
 +
 
 +
* Water resources are a ‘technically oriented issue [...] the resolution of which is essential for the promotion of long-term regional development and security’<ref>Regional Water Data Banks Project (RWDBP) (2002). Op. cit. </ref>
 +
* Capacity-building of experts and water authorities of the three core parties will promote establishing, upgrading and synchronising regional data banks;
 +
* Standardised water data banks will facilitate exchange of technical water information among the three core parties and create common practice in water management;
 +
* Joint activities will help people from the three core parties to understand each other;
 +
* Continuing communication will establish working relationships and help coordinate efforts to ameliorate water problems;
 +
* Common understanding, established working relationships and awareness of common problems will encourage parties to transcend the realm of competing interests and create a situation in which all parties may share benefits;
 +
* Cooperative behaviour will allow improved water management, which is essential for long-term development and security; and
 +
* This will finally enhance the Middle East peace process.
== Results and Impact ==
== Results and Impact ==
<!-- DESCRIBE THE ACHIEVEMENT(S), INDUCED CHANGE(S) AND IMPACT -->
<!-- DESCRIBE THE ACHIEVEMENT(S), INDUCED CHANGE(S) AND IMPACT -->
 +
 +
The RWDBP consists of several sub-projects that have materialised since 1995, which several donor countries
 +
and intergovernmental bodies have funded (mainly Canada, France, the Netherlands, UK, US and EU). Most
 +
of the activities are coordinated by agencies from the donor countries and implemented with staff from the
 +
three water agencies and sometimes additional experts. Implementing staff and coordinators gather for project
 +
meetings and workshops held within or outside the region throughout the duration of a project.
 +
 +
 +
The projects’ final outcomes include several internal reports that assess current data availability and data
 +
collection practice within each core party, as well as public reports summarising information on water resources
 +
in Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. During the preparation of the regional reports, little data was
 +
directly exchanged among the core parties, because clearance to share data was not given from their authorities.
 +
Instead, each core party provided data to the US Geological Survey, which then drafted the final report. The
 +
projects under the RWDBP included considerable training activities for the staff of the respective water agencies.
 +
In addition, the core parties were provided with equipment and were trained on how to use it. Training topics
 +
included database development, interpretation of water quality network data, interpretation of surface-water
 +
network data and the installation and operation of hydro-meteorological and stream gauging stations. In the
 +
past few years, activities have shifted from databases towards more technical projects, such as development of
 +
decision support systems and implementing pilot plants.
 +
 +
 +
EXACT meets twice a year with all donor representatives. These meetings have been funded and convened
 +
by the US. The aim of these meetings is to evaluate the projects’ progress and to plan future activities. The
 +
two-day meetings usually follow the same agenda, including separate core party and donor meetings, as well
 +
as panel and bilateral meetings. Decisions on whether to initiate a project are taken by consensus. In the last
 +
few years, so called parliamentary meetings occurred every six months in between the EXACT meetings. These
 +
parliamentary meetings consist of only core party members and allow for projects to be discussed amongst
 +
themselves. According to interviews, project topics were usually suggested by the donors in the initial years of
 +
EXACT, whereas for about ten years the core parties have proposed topics themselves. All steering committee
 +
meetings excluded the media and civil society, with the intention of avoiding political interference as much as
 +
possible.
== Lessons for Replication ==
== Lessons for Replication ==
<!-- ANALYZE OR SUMMARIZE THE KEY INSIGHTS, IN VIEW OF LEARNING FOR SIMILAR SITUATIONS OR CASES -->
<!-- ANALYZE OR SUMMARIZE THE KEY INSIGHTS, IN VIEW OF LEARNING FOR SIMILAR SITUATIONS OR CASES -->
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[[Category:Case study]]
[[Category:Case study]]
 +
[[Category:Conflict]]
 +
[[Category:Cooperation]]
 +
[[Category:Middle East]]
 +
[[Category:Arab States]]
 +
[[Category:Jordan]]
 +
[[Category:Palestine]]
 +
[[Category:Israel]]

Revision as of 11:02, 9 September 2009

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Context

Middle East Peace Process

Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources Project (1995- ongoing)

Focus Areas

Water Cooperation Initiative

Research, capacity building and data exchange

Geographic Scope

Stakeholders

The project is managed by an Executive Action Team, EXACT, comprised of water experts from Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian water-management agencies.

Technical and financial support to EXACT is contributed by the European Union, France, The Netherlands, and the United States. Former donors include Australia and Canada.

Contacts

Contents

Background and Significance

The RWDBP consists of a series of specific actions taken jointly by the core parties: the Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian water agencies. It is one of the projects that came out of the Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources of the Middle East Peace Process.

While advancing the peace process, the MWGWR’s goals included creating an awareness of water issues from a regional perspective, to fostering cooperation and coordinating efforts to ameliorate water problems. These goals were tackled under the following four agenda items: 1) enhancement of water data availability 2) improved water management practices, including conservation 3) enhancement of water supply 4) concepts of regional water management and cooperation.


The RWDBP was designed to respond to the need for enhanced water data availability and was more specifically aimed to:

  • Foster the adoption of common, standardised data collection and storage techniques among the parties;
  • Improve the quality of the water resources data collected in the region; and
  • Improve communication among the scientific communities in the region.


Once the international and regional experts had formulated an implementation plan containing 39 recommendations, the RWDBP began working in 1995.[1] The Executive Action Team (EXACT) was established as the steering committee of the RWDBP in order to ensure the implementation of the recommendations. EXACT consists of head representatives from the core parties (i.e. mainly of the PWA, the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation, and the Israeli Water Authority, plus a representative of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs), while the US acts as the ‘gavel-holder’, convening and chairing the meetings.

The Experience: Challenges and Solutions

Based on RWDBP information materials[2] and interviews, the project’s theory of change towards peace can be outlined as follows:

  • Water resources are a ‘technically oriented issue [...] the resolution of which is essential for the promotion of long-term regional development and security’[3]
  • Capacity-building of experts and water authorities of the three core parties will promote establishing, upgrading and synchronising regional data banks;
  • Standardised water data banks will facilitate exchange of technical water information among the three core parties and create common practice in water management;
  • Joint activities will help people from the three core parties to understand each other;
  • Continuing communication will establish working relationships and help coordinate efforts to ameliorate water problems;
  • Common understanding, established working relationships and awareness of common problems will encourage parties to transcend the realm of competing interests and create a situation in which all parties may share benefits;
  • Cooperative behaviour will allow improved water management, which is essential for long-term development and security; and
  • This will finally enhance the Middle East peace process.

Results and Impact

The RWDBP consists of several sub-projects that have materialised since 1995, which several donor countries and intergovernmental bodies have funded (mainly Canada, France, the Netherlands, UK, US and EU). Most of the activities are coordinated by agencies from the donor countries and implemented with staff from the three water agencies and sometimes additional experts. Implementing staff and coordinators gather for project meetings and workshops held within or outside the region throughout the duration of a project.


The projects’ final outcomes include several internal reports that assess current data availability and data collection practice within each core party, as well as public reports summarising information on water resources in Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. During the preparation of the regional reports, little data was directly exchanged among the core parties, because clearance to share data was not given from their authorities. Instead, each core party provided data to the US Geological Survey, which then drafted the final report. The projects under the RWDBP included considerable training activities for the staff of the respective water agencies. In addition, the core parties were provided with equipment and were trained on how to use it. Training topics included database development, interpretation of water quality network data, interpretation of surface-water network data and the installation and operation of hydro-meteorological and stream gauging stations. In the past few years, activities have shifted from databases towards more technical projects, such as development of decision support systems and implementing pilot plants.


EXACT meets twice a year with all donor representatives. These meetings have been funded and convened by the US. The aim of these meetings is to evaluate the projects’ progress and to plan future activities. The two-day meetings usually follow the same agenda, including separate core party and donor meetings, as well as panel and bilateral meetings. Decisions on whether to initiate a project are taken by consensus. In the last few years, so called parliamentary meetings occurred every six months in between the EXACT meetings. These parliamentary meetings consist of only core party members and allow for projects to be discussed amongst themselves. According to interviews, project topics were usually suggested by the donors in the initial years of EXACT, whereas for about ten years the core parties have proposed topics themselves. All steering committee meetings excluded the media and civil society, with the intention of avoiding political interference as much as possible.

Lessons for Replication

Testimonies and Stakeholder Perceptions

References

  1. Regional Water Data Banks Project (RWDBP) (2002). Regional Water Data Banks Project: Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources, Middle East Peace Process. Project Brochure.
  2. See: http://www.exact-me.org; Regional Water Data Banks Project (RWDBP) (2002). Op. cit.
  3. Regional Water Data Banks Project (RWDBP) (2002). Op. cit.

See also

External Resources

Attachments

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