Geneva Initiative Annexes
Geneva Initiative Annexes

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GI-PPC - Addendum to the G.I. Water Annex

GI-PPC - Addendum to the G.I. Water Annex

This paper is intended as an addendum to the Geneva Initiative Water Annex

1. General
 
1.1 Ten years after the signing of the Geneva Initiative and five years after the completion of the Geneva Initiative Water Annex, the parties feel that particular aspects of the proposals for management of shared water resources in these documents could be strengthened.
1.2 This document will not replace the understandings reached in the Geneva Initiative nor in the Water Annex, but is intended to constitute an addition to certain aspects of these understandings.
1.3 The principles included in this document are intended to assist with the joint management of particular elements (see 2.2. below) of the shared water resources after the signing of a permanent status agreement and might be included in it.
1.4 Definitions: further to the definitions included in the original GI’s annex, the following definitions will be added:
  • “Aquifer”: means a permeable water-bearing rock formation capable of yielding exploitable quantities of water; in the context of GI annex the reference for the aquifers is the agreed upon geological boundaries map
  • "International Watercourse": means a Watercourse, parts of which are situated in different States; Annex refers to the Jordan river basin
  • “Trans-boundary Aquifer System”: means an Aquifer System, parts of which are situated in the territories of the states of Palestine and Israel.
  • “Watercourse": means a system of surface waters and ground waters constituting by virtue of their physical relationship a unitary whole, and including Trans-boundary Aquifer Systems;
  • "Base Year": Refers to 5th June 1967;
  • “Full cost recovery for water system”: means a system in which the fees/prices charged for provision of water to customers are adjusted to ensure that the entire capital costs as well as operations and maintenance are covered.
 
2. General Principles
 
2.1 The parties reaffirm and underscore their commitment to the fair and sustainable management of their shared water resources, taking into account the water rights and future needs of the Israeli and Palestinian populations; the allocation of the trans-boundary water resources shared by the parties, pursuant to the base year; the current use being made of the shared resources by the parties; and the obligation to manage these resources for fulfillment of future needs. The re-division of the water resources shall be based on a set of criteria as detailed in the article 2.2.
2.2 The rightful re-division of the shared water resources under the Geneva Initiative’s Water Annex will depend on the following criteria:
2.2.1 A focus on sharing the benefits derived from the use of water rather than the allocation of water itself.
2.2.2 Shared basins are managed on the basis of an integrated approach (IWRM) not foregoing the need for mutual cooperation to develop contingencies for droughts and impacts of climate change.
2.3 The parties agree that after the water resources available to each side have been delineated, and based on the understanding of the fundamental dependence of both sides on these water sources, particular elements of the shared water resources will be jointly managed as "one administrative unit" according to an agreed set of principles defining management processes and institutions.
2.4 The parties will develop joint programs for monitoring quantities and qualities of flow and usage of the shared water resources for both surface water catchment and shared aquifers.
 
3. Economic Principles for the Sustainable and Efficient Use and Management of Shared Water Resources
 
3.1 The parties recognize that economic factors and measures must play a central role in the management of shared water sources.
3.2 The parties agree that the overall needs of each side will be met using the full range of possible water sources; conventional and non-conventional resources such as aquifers, surface water, treated sewage and desalinated water (sourced from brackish and sea water).
3.3 The parties agree to engage in a harmonization of water pricing doctrines regarding the quantities of water to be supplied and efficiently used for all types of needs from the shared water resources.
3.4 The parties agree that the price of water for consumers/end-users will take into account:
3.4.1 The necessity for a closed system with 'full cost recovery'.
3.4.2 That, subject to comprehensive water metering, a base price for a minimum sufficient quantity of water can be established for poor/ most fragile groups of populations.
3.4.3 The need for a phased transition to the above pricing approach within an agreed framework of principles and an agreed timetable.
3.4.4 The need to adjust any economic aspect of water management in each side to the management of all the components of each national economy.
3.5 The parties agree to prioritize development of a system for the management of "trans-boundary sewage" based on the following principles:
3.5.1 The 'polluter pays' principle will apply. Each side will have full administrative responsibility for preventing surface and ground water pollution from sewage generated within their territory.
3.5.2 Each side will have the first right to use reclaimed water which originated from its territory, regardless of the arrangements for its treatment.
3.5.3 The location of treatment facilities will be based on engineering and cost-efficiency considerations and will take into account the distance from the source of the sewage and the distance to the location where the treated water will be used for irrigation. With regard to this issue, the location of the sovereign border between the states will not constitute a significant prohibitive consideration.
3.5.4 The two sides agree to maintain a calculation mechanism for allocating the costs of treatment to each side based on the 'polluter pays' principle, the costs of developing and maintaining the infrastructure and the price of treated water which is recouped from farmers who use the water for irrigation, in order to maximize the joint cost-efficiency of the system.
3.5.5 Affordable and sustainable solutions for water supply, wastewater disposal, treatment and reuse will be developed, shared and implemented.
3.5.6 Research and innovation, as a precursor to sustainable water use, will be prioritized.
3.5.7 As modern technologies are needed to use water efficiently, reduce water pollution and treat polluted waters, any targets in this regard should be considered in relation to the availability of technology and costs.
3.5.8 While taking into account social and environmental considerations, the parties will improve integrated water resources management and the efficiency of different water uses, in order to rationalize water demand, modernize irrigation techniques and water management systems, develop non-conventional resources, mobilize existing resources, prevent pollution, and rehabilitate water networks.
3.5.9 Coordination between the water and energy domains should be enhanced in order to reduce waste and inefficiency.
3.5.10 Research and development for efficient, reliable and scalable renewable energies, desalination and water treatment technologies that better meet future demands should be supported.
3.5.11 The study of climate change and the investigation of possible measures to limit its effects or adapt to them will be supported.
 
4. Regional Cooperation
 
4.1 A number of states are considered to be riparian to the lower Jordan River and are under an obligation to take appropriate measures to avoid harm to the watercourse system.
4.2 The parties agree to work together to develop a regional cooperation mechanism between the riparian states of the lower Jordan River in order to ensure its sound management. The mechanism would allow for the exchange of relevant data and information about the watercourse; enhance cooperation in water planning, in particular for emergencies such as droughts or public health emergencies; provide a forum to resolve any issues which may arrive between the members; and promote cooperation between relevant private and non-governmental bodies in each member state. The mechanism will take into consideration existing treaties to which the members are signatories.
4.3 Special attention should be given in this context to the condition of the Dead Sea and the need to take measures to mitigate its deterioration including the Red Sea-Dead Sea water project.