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In Israel, it's mostly a triumph of politics over economics - Jordan, Israel, and the PA have cooperated in developing desalination plants [1] in part in order to defuse conflicts over water. Water allocations have historically been a zero-sum competition in the region, so when there's a chance (however expensive) to just throw money at the problem to make it go away, everyone's willing to play along.

[1] http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2013/12/09/se...

I think it's quite a mistake to dismiss public infrastructure that efficiently provides a vital resource in needed quantities as somehow triumphing over economics. Economic theory seems to be supported here, in that infrastructure now exists to meet record demand, at a higher marginal price than earlier supplies. Did you mean to say that it's simply expensive?

You miss the point.

It's cheaper to screw your neighbor than to build infrastructure.

Long term it's cheaper to not have your neighbors hate you!

Unless you have a strong military-industrial complex, in which case it's great business

It's difficult to build infrastructure in Israel because it's geographically on the Malthusian Traps.

I agree that there's a triumph of politics over economics on the water issue, but I'm not sure that it's in the direction we think:

Israel blames Palestinians for West Bank water shortage http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israel-blames-Pal...

I just heard this on NPR this morning: http://www.npr.org/2016/07/30/488027731/west-bank-water-cris...

The story said that the pipes Israel is complaining about had been recently installed by the Americans and worked fine. The real issue is that Israel wants quid pro quo construction of water resources for unlawful settlements.

So, Israel is holding back water because Palestinians refuse to give up any more of their land to "settlers". Who said politics had triumphed?

EDIT: And from your linked article, the real issue gets a single mention "The Palestinian refusal to sit down with Israelis, means that the committee has not met for over five years." The article implies a broken pipe keeps everyone from getting water, when it's really a refusal to give any more land to illegal settlements.

More details on the water allocation from a human rights group:


And from the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-11101797

> Palestinians say they are prevented from using their own water resources by a belligerent military power, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to buy water from their occupiers at inflated prices.

> Israel allocates to its citizens, including those living in settlements in the West Bank deemed illegal under international law, between three and five times more water than the Palestinians.

I'm sure Palestine would love to be in Israel's position right now. Given how Israel, depending on the Palestinian policy of the time, alternates between stealing Palestinian land, bombing it, or preventing goods from entering or leaving, it's in no position to complain about poorly maintained infrastructure.

Yeah, desalination also occurs in Arab countries in the gulf that have tons of money to throw at it. Palestinians could establish some of this infrastructure if they had a shot.

But it would get bombed if it was built after not too long, like all good things. And that's assuming Israel let the Palestinians build one in the first place.

This is factually false.

In fact Israel ships tons of goods every day.


* a lot the land that is Israel today is bought.

* Jews that left neighbouring countries for Israel lost their property there vut this is never mentioned

* A lot of it is. Most people do not contest that. However, a lot of land being taken over the past few decades consists of illegal settlements... And buffer zones for said illegal settlements.

* Plenty of people - say, American Japanese had their land, money, and property seized during the second world war - and they haven't received a dollar in compensation for it. That doesn't give them the right to do the same to other people.

Would the downvoters please enlighten me?

That's the kind of conflict that expanding the water supply can reduce. It's just nowhere near the point that water goes away completely as a point of contention.

isn't it the other way around - a triumph of economics (i.e. common sense) over politics?

The cost of weapons systems and training and feeding of armies can be very expensive.

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