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Planning for water resources management requires that long term trends (such as population growth and water use), upstream/downstream, and scale related issues are all addressed within a coherent framework.  Scenario building is a planning tool which supports good decision-making based on a systematic and consistent examination of possible trends and the impact if those trends.  It will be used to develop objectives and actions that use appropriate methodologies for good water and land management.

 

Sustainability of the Master Plan

Creating a joint Israeli Palestinian Master Plan entails several risk factors.  One major risk is failure of the team to reach agreement on a particular phase of the project. This in turn could create tensions, halt progress, or even cause the project to fail to reach its goals. This risk will be minimized by several measures.  First, the team members selected are not only experts in their fields, but also have experience in working on joint Palestinian Israeli projects of a similar nature. They are familiar with the many successes and failures in attempts at joint action. Secondly, the ground rules of the project recognize that the Master Plan will be based on ecological, historical, physical, economic and geographical factors that serve the best interests of the Valley, regardless of present or future political considerations or sovereignty.

The many issues to be discussed in creating the Master Plan require the input  of national government officials in general and the Joint Water Committee in particular.  This is especially true when deciding on the placement of the wastewater treatment plant and the planned uses of the treated wastewater. The inability to reach decisions could hamper progress on these two important issues, and even spread to other areas of the Master Plan.  This risk will be minimized by keeping government officials informed of the project and its progress throughout the entire process. In addition, the Master Plan will be structured to enable separating the wastewater treatment and reuse options from the rest of the Plan.

An additional contingency measure is the creation of more than one version of the Master Plan, or even leaving out certain aspects or areas, thus circumventing issues that block completion.

There are also social risks involved in the project. One of the goals of the project is to involve the general public in the decision making progress and to set up a public participation and volunteer framework to help care for the Valley. Public disapproval of the process or of the collaborative framework could increase tensions between the two populations.  

Our goal is to not only develop a Master Plan, but to do so while incorporating the principles of basin management, including transparency, dialogue and public involvement at and between all levels. This is not something to be taken for granted in an area of conflict without much experience in using these principles.  Suspicion and resistance may arise at different levels, and frustration and disappointment when expectations and reality collide. 
The Master Plan is a blueprint for the common future of the Kidron Valley/Wadi Nar developed together by Israelis and Palestinians in coordination and in consultation with stakeholders from both entities and from all levels. It reflects a common vision that will improve the quality of life for the residents of the Valley and visitors, both environmentally and economically.

This will be the first Master Plan for a transboundary stream in the region. When completed, the Kidron Valley/Wadi Nar Master Plan will serve as a model for other Palestinian-Israeli transboundary streams and rivers, as well as a starting point for continued cooperation within the basin itself.

 

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