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In Search of a New Identity?

: Good Water Neighbors, Deep Drilling Frontiers, and the Rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River W. Todd Jarvis, PhD Interim Director Institute for Water and Watersheds Oregon State University Corvallis, OR USA Introduction Understanding, utilization, and unitization of the underground ensures water resiliency, security, and creates new opportunities enhancing peace through building of aquifer communities*. Groundwater is the worlds most extracted raw material with withdrawal rates estimated to range between 800 to 1,000 3 km per year through millions of water wells (Shah, 2009). Groundwater is not affected by droughts as much as surface water resources because of the large storage afforded in aquifers thus increasing water resiliency. Groundwater many times is available at the point of use, as opposed to surface water, which may require long distances for diversions. Yet after over 100 years of studying the hydrological cycle, there are no consistent methods to calculate the available and recoverable water from river basins and groundwater systems; few hydrological watershed models even address groundwater into their water balance models (Zeitoun, 2011). And despite nearly 20 years of work on defining water scarcity, few indices incorporate groundwater (Jarvis, in review). Groundwater Challenges in Closed Basins Approximately 18% of the Earths land drain to endorheic or closed basins. The Caspian Sea, Aral Sea, Lop Nor in the Tarim Basin of China are a few located in Asia. There are many closed basins in the western United States; the most famous is the Great Basin that drains to the Great Salt Lake and Death Valley in United States. Numerous endorheic basins can be found in Africa, Australia, South America, and the Middle East (Wikipedia). Many of the water features associated with these closed basins are home of ancient syncretistic civilizations and vibrant ecosystems, as well as agricultural and economic activity of increasing regional and world importance. Water resources, water supply and water quality in these closed basins are increasingly stressed. Perhaps the most famous of the global closed basins is the Lower Jordan River-Dead Sea located in the lowest closed basin in the world at 423 meters below sea level. Groundwater exploration and development challenges in closed basins are manifold. There is a general lack of hydrogeologic data in closed basins even in most drilled areas in world, thus leading to poor conceptual models. Reliable deep water quality data are scant due to commingled hydrocarbons that typically drive the deep drilling programs in closed basins. Boundaries of the groundwater systems typically do not coincide with surface watersheds. Deeper closed groundwater flow systems many times coincide with the regional groundwater systems or the megawatersheds model proposed by Bisson and Lehr (2004). And surprises as described by Bredehoeft (2005) are not uncommon in closed basins. Deep wells over 2500 meters in depth have discovered previously untapped aquifers with discharge rates ranging between 90 to 900 liters per second of drinking water quality water. Groundwater and Water Diplomacy One of the keys to increasing the quantity of groundwater that may be potentially available for use is to creatively think about the flexibility of water (Islam and Susskind, 2012). However, flexibility is not limited to strictly use, reuse, and sharing water. For example, despite the reported problems of depleting groundwater stored in aquifers through intensive exploitation in some parts of the world, the storage space once filled with groundwater has great value in that it can be refilled through artificial means, stored with limited risk of evaporation, attack by terrorism, and recovered. The United Arab Emirates

provide a good case study where investing $500 million to refill depleted and saline aquifers with 26 3 million m of desalinated water to increase local water security (Henzell, 2012). Many locations within the world are also actively engaged in comparable Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) projects (Pyne, 2005). A flexible approach to enhancing groundwater availability and use is recognized by the Draft Law of Transboundary Aquifers where the proposed utilization of aquifer systems include the extraction of water, heat and minerals, and storage and disposal of any substance. Jarvis (2011) posited that this proposed approach to groundwater governance extended beyond the equitable and reasonable sharing of water to acknowledging the flexible use of aquifer storage for making water more accessible. Unitization as applied in the oil and gas industry for the past 130 years may work in aquifer systems by creating more water through sharing not only the groundwater stored in an aquifer, but also sharing the storage within an aquifer system. Groundwater and Good Water Neighbors It is beyond the scope of this paper to begin to describe the political tensions associated with borehole pumping along the banks of the Jordan River, although the interested reader is referred to Zeitoun and others (2009) for a review of the situation. On 9-13 September, 2012, two important water Middle East water conferences were convened to begin the process of rehabilitating the Lower Jordan River. The first SWIM-Jordan River Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) Middle East Seminar brought together approximately 80 high level officials from the region and from the international community. Representatives of all key Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli decision making bodies, ministries etc. relevant for the rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River were present. It was clear that just about any option for water was being considered to meet not only to reduce the potential suffering of thirsty growing population, but also to meet the needs for irrigated agriculture, to continue restoring the green corridor, and to save the Dead Sea. Immediately following the SWIM seminar, participants joined a guided tour to several sites in the northern Jordan Valley. The field trip initiated a celebration of 10 years of the Good Water Neighbors Project sponsored by the Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) where approximately 250 people from across the region and globe attended the two-day conference in Jericho, Palestine. It was reportedly the first large water conference hosted by the Palestinians. From the perspective of a spectator, both conferences were attempts to highlight community-based problem solving on water issues. The meetings highlighted a shared vision on the preservation of the Dead Sea and other important legacy sites, attempting to foster perhaps a new superordinate identity that We are all in this together. Collaboration between entities within the region used new tools to enhance the notion of a potential superordinate identity, including the use of music and film. The transdisciplinarity approach to conflict resolution and dispute prevention focusing on answering the question what we must do utilized visits to Ecoparks, including the FoEME Sharhabil Bin Hassneh (SHE) in Jordan, the Auja EcoCenter in Palestine, and the Bakoura area along the Israeli and Jordanian border where the Jordan River Peace Park is proposed. The rehabilitation of the Jordan River is obviously very challenging given the geopolitics of the region. While water use efficiency and reduced diversions are clearly required to preserve legacy sites, enhance tourism and save the Dead Sea, what was striking as a spectator was the general lack of knowledge about the deep hydrogeology of the Jordan Valley area. Most knowledge of the deep (>300 meters) groundwater systems appears to be limited to highlands bordering the Jordan Valley. Querying Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli hydrologists revealed that few wells are deeper than 300 meters in Jordan Valley. There is some perception that only saline water extends to depth, yet there are no deep wells to confirm this conceptual model. According to the participants at both meetings, money is not the problem. However, accessibility to drilling locations is a political problem and creates a form of artificial scarcity.

New Groundwater and Identifying New Aquifer Communities as Good Water Neighbors New interpretations of existing hydrogeologic data change the complexion of mapping global physical water scarcity and evaluation of water security. For example, while Africa continues to be identified as a water scarce region, new groundwater maps published by MacDonald and others (2012) estimate the 3 total volume of stored groundwater to be around 0.66 million km -- more than 100 times the available surface water in Africa. New hydrogeologic interpretations derived from deep drilling programs in the closed basin systems within the southwestern United States have encouraged the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) serving as the water purveyor for Las Vegas to build flexibility into their water 3 scarcity portfolio by planning to pump 140 million m of groundwater from four northeastern Nevada valleys for transport via a pipeline 423 km in length to Las Vegas for $15.5 billion (Smart, 2012). Deep drilling programs in the Jordan River Valley would promote Joint Fact Finding (JFF) and build trust between the regional entities. The JFF would enhance regional efforts at water diplomacy and water security by creating value for all entities through the knowledge gleaned about deep groundwater and potential underground storage of manufactured water. Unitization can serve as one tool in implementing the JFF exploratory well drilling program by not only acknowledging equitable and reasonable use of hydrogeologic information, but also by recognizing the sovereignty of each aquifer state by valuing the information on pore space and potential subsurface storage of manufactured water. The core principles, or 4P framework as described by Jarvis (2011), behind unitization of aquifers include: Promote groundwater exploration and development in underutilized areas, for example, in megawatersheds that are being promoted as a new exploration paradigm by Bisson and Lehr (2004); Preserve the storage capacity of aquifers by promoting local control of groundwater development; Promote private investment in the post-modern hydrologic balance including aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), ecosystem services, and the spirituality of water; Prevent disputes by blurring the boundaries, thus creating a new superordinate identity to create peace.

But unitization and JFF might also work towards creating a new regional identity to create peace. Jarvis and Wolf (2010) have integrated social psychologist van Vugts (2009) work on identity as it applies to resolving conflicts over water. Identity works towards action by connecting groups of competitors to move towards action. Van Vugt (2009) indicates it is important to create superordinate identities such as regions by thinking of ways to blur group boundaries by referencing we all value the Dead Sea implying we are all in this together. Likewise, Shah (2009) references the concept of aquifer communities where aquifer users in a locality are aware of their mutual vulnerability and mutual dependence in the use of a common aquifer. The Friends of the Earth Middle East Ecoparks could serve as case studies for unitization of deep, previously untapped aquifers in the Lower Jordan River Valley and could provide locations of shared identity for groundwater exploration and deep water storage evaluations. A good place to start is Bakoura area where the Jordan River Peace Park is proposed. Water and storage are needed in this area to initiate wetland rehabilitation along a major flyway for the millions of migratory birds which belong to all of us.

References and Notes *Portions of this paper are derived from an analytical brief on water security that the Comisin Econmica para Amrica Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL) and UN Water invited the author to prepare and is currently in review. Bisson, R.A. and J.H. Lehr. 2004. Modern groundwater exploration: discovering new water resources in consolidated rocks using innovative hydrogeologic concepts, exploration, aquifer testing, and management methods. Wiley Interscience, Hoboken, NJ. Bredehoeft, J. 2005. The conceptualization model problemsurprise. Hydrogeology Journal 13(1): 3746. Gleeson, T., Y. Wada, M.F.P. Bierkens, and L.P. H. van Beek. 2012. Water balance of global aquifers revealed by groundwater footprint. Nature 488: 197200 doi:10.1038/nature11295 Henzell, J. 2012. Ensuring the security of water, 'a strategic commodity on par with oil': The National, June 30, 2012. http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/environment/ensuring-the-security-of-water-astrategic-commodity-on-par-with-oil last accessed August 25, 2012. Islam, S. and L.E. Susskind. 2012. Water Diplomacy: A Negotiated Approach to Managing Complex Water Networks, Resources for the Future Press. Washington, DC. Jarvis, T., and A. Wolf. 2010. Managing Water Negotiations: Theory and approaches to water resources conflict and cooperation. Book Chapter in Transboundary Water Management: From Principles to Practice. (eds.) Earle, A., Jgerskog, A. & jendal, J. Earthscan. London. Jarvis, W.T. 2011. Unitization: a lesson in collective action from the oil industry for aquifer governance, Water International, 36(5): 619-630. Jarvis, W.T. in review. Water Scarcity: Moving Beyond Indices to Innovative Institutions, Ground Water. Molden, D. 2007. A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Onyango, P. 2012. Kenya's Water Wars Kill Scores, AllAfrica Global Media, September 11, 2012. http://allafrica.com/stories/201209120455.html last accessed September 27, 2012. Pyne, R.D.G. 2005. Aquifer Storage and Recovery: A guide to groundwater recharge Through Wells, Second Edition. ASR Press. Gainesville. Shah, T. 2009. Taming the Anarchy: Groundwater Governance in South Asia. Resources for the Future Press. Washington, DC. Smart, C., 2012, BLM poised to OK Las Vegas plan to pump and pipe desert groundwater. The Salt Lake Tribune, August 3, 2012, http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/54624691-90/nevada-blm-finaleis.html.csp last accessed August 31, 2012. van Vugt, M. 2009. Triumph of the commons: helping the world to share. New Scientist, 2722: 4043. Zeitoun, M. 2011. The Global Web of National Water Security, Global Policy 2(3): 286-296.

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