I would like to express my gratitude for the generosity of Max Weidenfeld Travel Grant. Because of this grant I was able to conduct a field trip to the West Bank (Palestine) and Israel in June 2018. My research involved the possibilities and realities for water-energy nexus cooperation between Israel, Jordan and Palestine.
I attended the First Palestine International Water Forum in Ramallah. There, I met and interviewed key stakeholders from the region. I also got the chance to explore different historic and holy places in the Jordan River Basin including the Dead Sea, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In Israel, I also met with several professors to get a different insight in my research.
In the Jordan River Basin fossil fuel is dominating the energy resources along with a severe water crisis and at the same time there is huge potential for solar power generation which could solve some of these problems. Various theoretical water-energy nexus frameworks have been proposed as a solution to these two acute challenges. The nexus framework prioritises the interdependence among each other for shared resources. For example, water from the Mediterranean Sea is provided by Israel and/or Palestine, both of which have coastal access and, in exchange, Jordan – which has sufficient land resources for solar power plant installations – supplies all three parties with renewable energy.
This solution is just a theoretical one and has many limitations when it comes to practical implementation. This study is aiming to find out in detail the ground realities regarding the implementation of this water-energy nexus cooperation.
This field trip was a very memorable part of my life. Although the purpose of going there was just for research I achieved more than I expected. As it was a government organised conference we had better facilities and opportunities to understand the region in-depth. We explored some of the historic sites in the region and were welcomed by different officials including Mayors of the Palestine government. Jerusalem is a very holy city, where we can find a great religious tolerance among people motivated by humanity, support and love.
When I met the Nepali community in Tel Aviv, the feeling was nothing less than going to Nepal. I had the chance to meet and know people from my region and their experiences in Israel. Because of these people, I got to know the place more easily and quickly.
Overall, this was one of the lifetime experiences from all perspectives including research and exploration. This has been one of my best moments of Oxford and WHT life. Finally, I want to thank WHT team from my heart for thinking about us and facilitating from every way possible in our journey.