In many regions of the world, water is scarce. This scarcity of water resources usually causes conflicts. These conflicts in case of trans-boundary water resources are often between political entities or states. Different states put forward conflicting arguments as to their water rights to a certain trans-boundary source. These conflicting arguments are usually based on different conflicting principles. If arguments are between states of different political and military abilities, Caesar's Law often replaces the principles of International Law. A good example of the above is the conflict over the trans-boundary water resources between Israel and Palestine. In such case, the use of water allocation models, especially by Palestinians, can proof the inequitable distribution imposed by the Israelis in addition to the gain that parties can get through cooperative management of trans-boundary sources. Such gains can be estimated through the use of water allocation models. An example of such models is the WAS tool. The Water Allocation System (WAS) is a tool developed by a group of scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) along with the involvement of a group of scientists from Palestine, Israel and Jordan. The model presents a different way in looking at water disputes. That way is based on economic principles in its broad perspective. The WAS model tries to maximize net benefits for each region from the different water using sectors based on the requested water demands, available water resources, water infrastructure, the existence of treatment plants and desalination units, water conveyance, policy considerations, and penalties imposed. The model shows how efficiently the different states can efficiently implement the water related policies. This paper presents the results of different future scenarios in terms of shadow values, water allocation quantities, social benefits and others. These scenarios are developed taking into consideration two driving forces; economy and political stability. Results show that present water allocation between Palestinians and Israelis is not based on equitable foundation and indeed is unjust. WAS presents a more equitable and economic based allocation of water between Palestinians and Israelis. In addition, the paper demonstrates the prospective benefits from cooperation between different riparian of the trans-boundary water resources.
The Use of Water Allocation Models in Managing Trans-boundary Water Resources: A Case from Palestine.