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From Conflict to Collective Action: Institutional Change and Management Options to Govern Transboundary Water Courses (CollectiveWater)

Principal Investigator:
[Projektleitung verlinken]

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
May 01, 2005 — Apr 30, 2007
Contact Person:
Stefan Lindemann


Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Departments of Law and Geography;
University of Haifa, Department of Economics;
Water & Environmental Development Organization, Bethlehem;
Palestinian Water Authority;
Israeli Water Commission;
Technical University of Berlin, Centre for Water in Urban Areas;
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ);
University of Trier, Faculty of Law

Political and hydrological boundaries often fall apart. In this case, the establishment of cross-border institutions of water economists often is touted for integrated water resources management. From a social science perspective this raises the following questions:          

  • Under what conditions can the establishment of such cross-border institutions be expected?
  • What are alternative arrangements of these institutions and their advantages and disadvantages?
  • Under what conditions are institutional arrangements transfered from a river basin to other river basins?
  • What is the role of natural spatial scales in cross-border river basin management?

The project examined these questions with reference to the catchment basin of the Elbe and the Kidron Valley / Wadi Nar in Israel-Palestine. Thereby it resorted to economic, legal, political, scientific and technical expertise. In the Elbe river basin, the effectiveness of existing institutions for transboundary water management has been studied on the basis of qualitative interviews. In the Kidron Valley / Wadi Nar, where there is no cross-border institutions, alternative management options were identified and evaluated on the basis of cost-benefit and multi-criteria decision analysis in the context of a stakeholder analysis. Alternative institutional arrangements were then identified and evaluated based on European experiences. Based on these findings, the project provides an informal effort by Israelis and Palestinians to develop a general management plan for the Kidron Valley / Wadi Nar.