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date: 26 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines trends in water resources used in Jordan and Israel. Specifically it illustrates how these two economies have circumvented significant limits in their natural freshwater resource endowment to enable continued economic and population growth despite static or declining water availability. Using the concept of resource decoupling, it identifies four specific mechanisms by which economies can decouple their water needs from water availability, including economic diversification, food imports, agricultural water productivity, and nonconventional water resource development. Each of these mechanisms are illustrated for the two countries, including technical and political processes shaping their adoption. The chapter also critiques existing conceptualizations of decoupling relative to the water-specific model, highlighting the importance of understanding the unique characteristics of scarcity, flows, and substitutability of water at a global scale. Finally the chapter nests decoupling within the market modes framing this volume, before evaluating the risks and trade-offs inherent in decoupling strategies.

Keywords: Resource decoupling, water productivity, water risk, water reform politics, Jordan, Israel

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