David Katz & Arkadiy Shafran

Received 03 Jul 2018, Accepted 09 Apr 2020, Published online: 26 May 2020


This article presents a nongovernmental initiative to address asymmetric hydropolitical relations in the Jordan River basin through issue linkage. The initiative would develop desalination capacity along the Mediterranean to supply water to Jordan, with Jordan generating and distributing solar energy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Such a project could provide a range of economic, environmental and geopolitical benefits to the parties involved, though it would also increase national dependencies on critical resources, which may be a serious impediment to adoption. Still, such mutual dependencies may be preferable to the current unilateral and asymmetric relations.

KEYWORDS: Desalinationhydropoliticsissue linkagerenewable energyTrack II diplomacytransboundarywater-energy nexusMiddle East



Rethinking water and energy in Arab–Israeli relations

The roles of technology and issue linkages in hydropolitics

Water–energy exchanges: project rationale

Study objectives, design and methodology

Project technical and economic feasibility

Potential geopolitical benefits

Evaluating the prospects for water–energy exchanges