29 Apr 2013
Politics matter: Jordan’s path to water security lies through political reforms and regional cooperation
NCCR Trade Regulation Working Paper No. 2013/19, authored by Valerie Yorke.
Jordan faces a deepening water crisis, exacerbated by climate change, regional conflict, immigration, and poor governance. Its people are among the most water-deprived worldwide. Addressing how Jordan’s water challenge might be dealt with at national, regional and international levels, the study focuses on politics. Analysis shows the crisis is linked to a wider problem – the organisation of political power: An evolving political bargain between Throne and people, underpinned by patronage, permitted powerful anti-reformists to influence policymaking, especially over water resources. Jordan’s political transition now provides unprecedented opportunity for the country to prioritise strategically-important water issues. If a path to water sustainability is to be found, a nationwide, coordinated approach to parallel political and water reforms combined with imaginative regional diplomacy over shared and new supplies will be indispensable. The study offers policy recommendations.