Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Brent Hall

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This thesis sets out to determine possible links between the depleting water resources in Israel and the country’s hegemony over the water-rich area of south Lebanon. The early Zionist and later Israeli leaders have coveted the Litani river of Lebanon, to which Israel has had access since 1978. Israel’s replenishable water stock is being fully utilized. This fact is the basis of the theoretical motif of the thesis, namely the state conflict induced by resource scarcity. Thus conflict theory is discussed and a model of conflict process is derived.

Also discussed are 1) the reasons for the high water consumption in Israel, 2) water supply and demand in the country, 3) the degradation of fresh water sources, and 4) the domestic and foreign options available for Israel to ameloriate the impending water crisis. Lebanon’s Litani river is seen as Israel’s best answer to its water problem. A diversion of the Litani into the Jordan river would, however, strongly affect the economic and demographic growth in both Lebanon and Israel. Such a diversion would also have destablishing regional implications, especially for Lebanon. Against this background the conflict model is tested, and a revised one is proposed; one that is more reflective of the conflict process while under conditions of “natural” scarcity. In conclusion, there appears to be a hydrological dimension to Israel’s presence in the “security belt” of south Lebanon.

Convocation Year