This report analyses and compares the water allocation and management experience of Jordan,
Palestine and Israel using the lens of economic and resource decoupling to highlight past trends
and future potential for jurisdictions in the region to circumvent limits on natural water resources.
Like most Middle East economies, Jordan and Palestine face extreme water scarcity and potential
food insecurity. These conditions are increasingly seen as threats to human security and to the
natural environment. Israel, which shares a similar geography, has adopted a combination of policy
and technological interventions that have allowed it to largely overcome such pressures, become a
leader in irrigated agricultural production and enjoy a version of sustainable water and food
security. In economic terms, Israel has been able to ‘decouple’ its economic and social1 water
demands from its internal water resource availability. In terms of water productivity, Jordan
likewise, has identified agricultural methods by which it achieves regionally unmatched levels of
productivity for certain specific crops. The extent to which these good practices — effective
allocation and management of water resources, water ecosystem stewardship, and economic, social
and environmental decoupling — can be transferred between these countries, as well as to other
economies that share similar environmental endowments is the subject of this research.