Negotiated Resolution of the Jordan-Israel Water Conflict

In: International Negotiation


This article reviews and analyzes the process associated with the water conflict between Jordan and Israel. It starts with the attempts made by the United States between 1953 and 1955 to work out a Unified Plan (The Johnston Plan) for the development of the Jordan Valley. The Plan was expected to forge tacit cooperation in the utilization of the Jordan River waters among Israel and the Arab riparian parties (then at a state of war with Israel). The efforts culminated in an agreement on the technical side, but approval on the political side was postponed and never materialized. The article then turns to the direct negotiations between Jordan and Israel. This process was conducted through the Middle East Peace Process which was launched in Madrid in 1991. The article focuses only on the water negotiations while reviewing the bilateral negotiations and the basis of the resolution over water. The negotiated resolution of 1994 is compared with Johnston's Unified Plan of 1955, with further attention to the status of the implementation of the water agreement since 1994.

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