Investigating transectoral and transboundary water allocation: The Rio Grande and Jordan River case studies

Afamia Carlo El-Nakat, University of Texas at El Paso


Global water scarcity is rapidly increasing especially in arid countries such as Jordan and Israel. Under such conditions, local, state and national governments are facing the challenge of negotiating water allocation among different parties. This study focuses on the use of Symmetrical Triangular Fuzzy Linear Regression and Least Squares Linear Regression to facilitate the process of water allocation. Two case studies are presented, the international water allocation of the Jordan River and the intersectoral allocation of water in El Paso County. The study also emphasizes the need of treating water as an economic good in order to ensure sustainability and improve efficiency in all sectors. The Jordan River case study was limited by data availability; the analyses performed are general and focus on providing peaceful solutions to ongoing disputes. Four water distribution scenarios and their effects on Israel's economy are provided. The scenarios portray that cooperation among different states can be more beneficial to their economy and environment. The study recommends treating the Jordan River as an economic good to better achieve “Equitable Utilization” as described by International Surface Water Law. The scenarios presented in the El Paso case study are based on municipal and agricultural water consumption and revenue data over the last 20 years. Several water transfer scenarios are analyzed. Gross crop-income values are calculated for the main crops. The study demonstrates that pima cotton has historically consumed the greatest quantities of water while generating the least revenue to farmers (average income over 20 years equals $300/Acre-Foot of water); peppers and onions are more profitable ($980/Acre-Foot and $1,260/Acre-Foot respectively). The study also indicates how equal amounts of water generate higher revenues in the municipal sector versus the agricultural sector. In 1999, 90,000 Million Gallons of water would have generated 175,000,000 dollars in the municipal sector in comparison to 90,000,000 dollars in the agricultural sector. Finally, an “El Paso Water Transfer Center” is proposed to create a water market in El Paso County and dictate water prices based on supply/demand interactions. The water transfer center will also insure that farmers receive monetary incentives for the water they conserve and transfer to the municipal sector.

Subject Area

Environmental science|Political science

Recommended Citation

El-Nakat, Afamia Carlo, "Investigating transectoral and transboundary water allocation: The Rio Grande and Jordan River case studies" (2002). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3081129.