Declaration on Principles
for Cooperation on Water-Related Matters
and New and Additional Water Resources
(February 13, 1996)
Multilateral Peace Process in the
Multilateral Working Group on Water Resources
Oslo, February 13, 1996
As part of the Program adopted by the Multilateral
Working Group on Water Resources (MWGWR) of the Middle East Peace
Process, the Government of Norway has sponsored certain activities of the
Within this context comparative
studies on Water Legislation, Institution, Institutions and Pricing of the
Core Parties were commissioned and executed.
As an outcome of these studies the
Parties, facilitated by the Government of Norway and the Office of
Gavelholder, have identified common denominators in their water resources
management systems and proclaimed this Declaration on Principles for
Cooperation Among the Core Parties on Water-related Matters and New and
Additional Water Resources. Although the Core Parties in the Middle East Peace
Process are considered to be Jordan, Syria, Israel, Lebanon and the PLO for
the benefit of the Palestinian Authority, for the purposes of this
Declaration, the term the Core Parties are those who are signatories
to this Declaration.
The Core Parties agree that this
Declaration and the cooperation thereunder will not affect or alter in any
form or manner any fo the bilateral or other agreements or undertakings among
them, nor does it prohibit or constrain any bilateral arrangements,
understandings or agreements aimed at enhancing cooperation in water-related
The Core Parties view this
Declaration as an expression of:
The role of the multilateral
talks in promoting cooperation and confidence-building in the field of
water resources and in the importance of cooperation for the promotion of
matters of mutual interest.
A joint resolve to cooperate
among them in the development of New and Additional Water Resources.
The importance of water resources
management on the basis of locally compatible legal, economic and
institutional frameworks and principles.
The recognition that cooperative
efforts among them will faciltiate the development of New and Additional
Water Resources for their joint benefit.
The ability to cooperate on the
basis of the common denominators identified within their respective water
The Core Parties proclaim as
objectives of their cooperation:
identifying the needs for New and
Additional Water Resources;
identifying potential New and
Additional Water Resources and the development thereof;
combining their cooperative
efforts in the developmetn of New and Additional Water Resources; and
enhancing their water supply, and
icnreasing the efficiency of its use.
The Declaration consists of three
parts, namely: Common Denominators, Principles of Cooperation on
New and Additional Water Resources, and Cooperation on Other
The Core Parties identified and
agreed to the following common denominators in their water legislation as a
basis for cooperation among themselves:
Water Resources in Legislation
Their respective water legislations
apply to all types of water resources including wastewater and desalinated
Ownership and Administration of
All water resources of each party
are publicly owned and/or centrally controlled. They are used for the
benefit of their respective societies. The Core Parties promote public
participation in water resources management. Well drilling, water production
and supply are allowed only by permit or license. A Central Water Authority/
Government Agency exists in each of the Core Parties, and exercises
effective control over water resources.
Domestic uses occupy the first
priority in the allocation of water resources.
The Core Parties will take
appropriate measures in periods of drought and water scarcity.
Water Quality and
Water quality standards for
various water uses have been adopted by each of the Core Parties; water
preservation is an overriding concern, and enforcement powers exist in the
hands of competent authorities to prevent water pollution, and to mitigate
any negative environmental impacts on them at the expense of the
Data and Record Keeping
Obligations exist, pursuant to the
legislation of each Core Party, to measure, monitor and keep proper record
of all water production, supplies and consumption.
Compliance and Enforcement
Proper sanctions against
non-compliance are explicit in the respective legislation of each of the
Core Parties. Enforcement of the water legislation is the norm.
Water is not supplied free of
charge in any of the Core Parties. Tariff structures, taking into account
different extents of cost recovery, apply to domestic, industrial and
agricultural sectors. These tariffs are periodically reviewed and adjusted.
PRINCIPLES OF COOPERATION ON NEW AND
ADDITIONAL WATER RESOURCES
For the purpose of this
1.1 New and Additional Water
Resources are only those potential water resources which are not
Existing Water Resources, and which are not part of new and additional water
resources developed pursuant to bilateral agreements.
1.2 Existing Water Resources
are the individual resources of each of the respective parties' renewable,
non-renewable and waste water resources.
1.3 Cooperating Parties
are those of the Core Parties, signatories to this Declaration, which
actively participate in the development of any specific Project relating
to new and additional water resources.
1.4 A New and Additional
Water Resources Project, hereinafter the Project, means a
project among Cooperating Parties to develop New and Additional Water
Resources by specific agreement.
2.1 The development of New and
Additional Water Resources will not adversely affect the development or
utilization of Existing Water Resources.
2.2 All arrangements with respect
to New and Additional Water Resources will be limited in time and subject
to periodic mutual review.
Mechanisms of Cooperation
3.1 Cooperation among the Core
Parties will be carried out by their respective water institutions through
joint bodies on a ministerial and managerial level to be established, as
appropriate, for each respective Party.
3.2 Each Project requires the
consensus of all the Cooperating Parties for implementation.
Ownership and Utilization
4.1 New and Additional Water
Resources, developed in joint effort by the Core Parties for the benefit of
some or all of them, will be considered as part of their own water resources
only to the extent of the share allocated to them.
4.2 Details concerning the
utilization and ownership will be the subject of separate agreements for
4.3 Each Core Party can apply its
legislation, within its respective jurisdiction, on the share allocated to
it by each Project.
Technical, Economic and Financial
5.1 Projects will be technically,
economically, and financially sustainable.
5.2 The Cooperating Parties will
carry their respective share of the project financing including the costs
of operation, maintenance, and amortization of the Project. Due regard
will be given to less developed Cooperating Parties and joint efforts will
be made to assist in the obtaining of financing on favorable terms,
provided that no such efforts affect any of the bilateral donor/recipients
arrangements or protocols.
5.3 The Cooperating Parties agree
to participate jointly in the raising of the funds needed for the Project
implementation, and to secure the funds needed for the operation and
maintenance of the new water system.
5.4 The cost to each of the
Cooperating Parties of water derived from New and Additional Resources
will be based upon the cost of production, operation, maintenance and
5.5 Water derived from the New
and Additional Resources will not be subject to levies on account of
conveyance, storage, treatment, or protection in excess of levies which
the owner of the project would normally incur.
5.6 Cooperating Parties may, by
mutual consent, trade the use of their respective shares of the waters
from New and Additional Resources, provided that such trading does not
cause harm to the shares allocated to any other Cooperating Parties.
6.1 All Projects will be based on
environmentally sound principles.
6.2 The Cooperating Parties give
preference to those Projects which utilize advanced technological water
6.3 Each Cooperating Party is
responsible for the protection of the Project against environmental
pollution originating within its jurisdiction.
7.1 Each Cooperating Party is
responsible for the prevention of harm to those parts of the Projects under
7.2 Such responsibility includes inter
alia the preservation of water quality and the prevention of
Operation and Maintenance
The Cooperating Parties will set
the standards for the operation and maintenance of the Projects.
Areas of Cooperation
It is understood that the following
potential areas of cooperation in the development of New and Additional
Water Resources for the Cooperating Parties will be further studied in order
to determine their feasibility:
9.1 acquisition and import of water
including the possibility of carrying such waters through existing or new
supply systems (wheeling);
9.2 development of desalination
9.3 rainfall enhancement; and
9.4 any other relevant area of
COOPERATION ON OTHER WATER-RELATED MATTERS
Cooperation on other water-related
matters, although originating among the Core Parties, will be open to regional
and extra-regional parties of the Multilateral Working Group on Water
Cooperation on Specific Sectors
The Parties express their desire to
cooperate among themselves and with other interested Parties on the
following Other Water-related Matters:
1.1 weather forecasting,
climatology, weather modification, and meteorology;
1.2 environmental conservation;
1.3 sustainable water-related
natural resources management and desertification control;
1.4 enhancement of public
awareness and participation; and
1.5 human resources development
Proposed Areas of Cooperation
The Core Parties will in due time
explore possible cooperation among themselves and with other interested
parties in the following areas:
2.1 collection, filing, processing,
transmission and exchange of water data and related information.
2.2 preparation of plans for
flood-protection and utilization; with emphasis on development of Early
2.3 development of norms,
standards and specifications for water devices, equipment and
2.4 transfer and adoption of
advanced technology throughout the chains of water storage, conveyance and
application, including automation and controls of water systems;
particularly related to reduction of crop water requirements;
2.5 water-energy interactions,
with emphasis on desalinization;
2.6 establishment of a Regional
Center; and 2.7 identification of ways to achieve optimal use of water in
the agricultural sector.
Mechanism of Cooperation
3.1 The Cooperating Parties will
decide on the mechanism of their cooperation on other water-related matters
set out in this section.
3.2 All decisions with respect to
cooperation on Other Water-related Matters will be adopted by consensus.
4.1 The Core Parties agree to hold
Regional Seminars on various water-related matters;
4.2 The Core Parties agree to
publish the results of their cooperation in a Regional Publication.
The Cooperating Parties may by
consensus agree to include additional water-related matters in their