Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation / University of East Anglia / Water Security Research Centre

Diplomacy on the Yarmouk, the Jordan River's forgotten tributary

Thursday 31 August | 09.00-10.30 | Room: FH Cabaret
Yarmouk River March 2017 (Zeitoun)

The Yarmouk is the least well-known but most important component of the Jordan River conflict. This panel makes the case for renewed diplomacy centred on the tributary, and based on the principles of International Water Law. The Yarmouk tributary supports the livelihoods of nearly two million people in Syria, Jordan, and Israel, and irrigates over 35,000 hectares. But the water is abstracted beyond sustainable limits, and relations are governed by ageing treaties and arrangements. Our international research team combined satellite imagery with climatic modelling, and investigations of groundwater with interviews with water users and managers. The data and analysis provides numbers and insight that challenge several long-held assumptions about the Yarmouk, and spots several opportunities to resolve the conflict. These are the initial results of the Yarmouk Hydropolitical Baseline project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Water Security Research Centre of the University of East Anglia.


09:00 Welcome
Moderator: Eileen Hofstetter, SDC

 09:05 Insight from satellite imagery into Yarmouk groundwater and rivers
Chadi Abdallah
, CNRS, Lebanon

 09:15 A century of narratives of water sharing and conflict
Muna Dajani

09:25 Opportunities for diplomacy
Mark Zeitoun, UEA WSRC, Univeristy of East Anglia

 09:35 Thoughts and comments
Prof. Elias Salameh, University of Jordan, and Dr. Omar Shemali

09:50 Comments and windows for diplomacy
Mara Tignino
, Geneva Water Hub

09:55 Response and discussion with other panelists
Moderator: Eileen Hofstetter, SDC

10:05 Q&A

10:25 Summary
Moderator: Eileen Hofstetter, SDC

10:30 Close of session