By Jeffrey K. Sosland
Examines cooperation and clash over water within the heart East.
Read Online or Download Cooperating Rivals: The Riparian Politics of the Jordan River Basin PDF
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Additional info for Cooperating Rivals: The Riparian Politics of the Jordan River Basin
Shortly after Woodhead issued his general report, the British government rejected any partition of Palestine as impractical. The Ionides water plan thus failed to result in action, but it did establish important waterplanning concepts for Transjordan/Jordan. Two years after the conclusion of the first Arab-Israeli War, the 1951 MacDonald report reexamined the Ionides Plan and adopted its basic concept 28 State-Building and Water Development, 1920–1956 for moving water through canals and storing it in Lake Tiberias.
This goal meant transporting water from the Jordan River basin to the populated Mediterranean coastal plain and the undeveloped arid northern Negev. To execute such a program, Israel also had to depend on international assistance. In 1949, the Truman administration helped Israel guarantee a $100 million loan from the Export-Import Bank, but the country needed additional assistance to develop its water and irrigation system. Each Jordan River riparian understood well that economic stability and development were paramount to state survival.
23 A year later, in 1952, the Jordanian government, in conjunction with the US Technical Cooperation Agency’s Point IV program24 and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which had been established in 1949 to provide assistance for Palestinian refugees, drafted a different approach, known as the Bunger Plan, that sidestepped the issue of cooperating with Israel. This scheme, which incorporated the settlement of 100,000 refugees in the Jordan Valley, proposed the storage of Yarmouk River water behind a large upstream dam at Maqarin, which would serve only Jordan and Syria.