Water scarcity is a major problem in the West Bank and, even more so, in the Gaza strip. The water resources are under increasing water stress due to a combination of factors, such as increasing demand, economic development, population growth, climate change, and water pollution from untreated waste water. The water sector should therefore be well adapted to the challenges ahead.

The overall objective of the program is to improve the individual, organizational and institutional capacity of the Palestinian higher education sector in the area of water. This will, on the mid- and the longer term, contribute to the effectiveness of the Palestinian water sector regarding the development, provision and management of water resources and services, reduce dependencies on donors and external funding. Additionally, applied short-term research contributes directly to knowledge gaps in the water sector, and projects are specifically designed to address the real needs of the agricultural and water sector.

Under this program, The Hague Institute is involved in a joint research project on ‘Rethinking the Water Governance Systems to Cope with Water Scarcity.’ In particular, Dr. Huntjens will supervise a fellow from Wageningen University, Ms. Juliane Schillinger, to conduct a water governance assessment in the Palestine Territories. It will reflect the policy needs and address local and national water scarcity conditions in Palestine. This effort will build on the lessons learned from knowledge exchanges with Jordan and Turkey. The water governance assessment is executed in close collaboration with University of Twente, Wageneningen University and Al-Quds University in Jerusalem.