Water, land, and development: Comparative Arizona - Israeli- Palestinian perspective

Christopher Scott, Jean Philippe Venot, François Molle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Water and land for expanding human settlements frame differential processes of “development” across the regions considered in this volume. Aridity, relative scarcity of both water and land, urban growth pressures on existing water uses, and expanding water reuse are shared challenges in Arizona, Israel, and Palestine. The Southwest United States, centered on the state of Arizona, relies heavily on Colorado River basin surface water and continues to makes intensive use of groundwater for agriculture and expanding urban water demands. Transboundary asymmetries in water endowments, management capacities, and legal frameworks place Arizona in a complex institutional and policy environment, particularly over water resources shared with neighboring basin states and with Mexico. Here, land is scarce not in an absolute sense but the high proportion of public lands held by federal and state governments creates unique geographical patterns of real estate development. Analogously, though with important differences explored in this chapter, Israel and Palestine depend both physically and institutionally on Jordan River basin surface-and groundwater resources as well as the Mediterranean Coastal Aquifer. Power asymmetries that are rooted in political and economic histories result in differential water access and endowments. Land, which has a unique security logic and is constrained physically and by politicalcultural geographies, and access to water together shape the past and future development of the region in fundamental ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationShared Borders, Shared Waters
Subtitle of host publicationIsraeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780203597682
ISBN (Print)9780415662635
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science


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