Marjorie Cort

Date of Award


First Advisor

Chris Coggins

Second Advisor

Thomas Coote


Israelis and Palestinians are in the midst of decades of conflict. Land rights and resource management are a major aspect of contention. Water resources are limited due to the aridity of the region. The asymmetry of power between the Israeli and Palestinian governments enables unequal resource distribution. Theorists argue that the scarcity of water will inevitably lead to water wars; however, cooperation over water resources is an excellent place to begin a dialogue on conflict resolution. Current resource management systems are a reflection of historical, cultural, and religious narratives held by Israelis and Palestinians. Bridging these cultural divides and finding common themes within their narratives is imperative to cooperative water management and conflict resolution. Water is a shared commons between Israel and Palestine, and governmental legislation based on the Oslo Accords I and II, has been signed in order to foster cooperative water management. There is, however, a discrepancy between what was written in these documents and actual water allocation practices. Progress towards cooperative management should come from grassroots organizing of Israeli and Palestinian civilians with the aid of non-governmental organizations. Cooperative water management provides a place to begin a dialogue on conflict resolution.

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