The Role of Creative Language in Addressing Political Realities: Middle-Eastern Water Agreements Chapter uri icon


  • International water agreements are often the mechanisms used to foster and institutionalize political cooperation. Water agreements facilitate data and information exchange, lessen the potential for future river basin conflicts, and even serve as a platform to induce cooperation over other more contentious issues. Indeed, historically, over 3,600 treaties have been signed that relate to all aspects of international water, including over 500 addressing water as a commodity since 1950 alone (United Nations Environment Programme 2002). These include cases of treaties signed between hostile countries, such as the 1960 Indus Treaty between India and Pakistan. In contrast, since 1950 there have been only 37 cases of acute dispute (those involving violence) over transboundary waters – of those, 30 are between Israel and one or another of its neighbors. In fact, the only true “water war” between nations on record occurred over 4,500 years ago between the city-states of Lagash and Umma in the Tigris-Euphrates basin.

author list (cited authors)

  • Fischhendler, I., Wolf, A., & Eckstein, G.

complete list of authors

  • Fischhendler, Itay||Wolf, Aaron||Eckstein, Gabriel

editor list (cited editors)

  • Megdal, S., Varady, R., & Eden, S.

Book Title

  • Shared Borders, Shared Waters: Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges

publication date

  • December 2012