Islamic foundations for effective water management : four case studies

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Walz, Jonathan David

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This thesis project addresses Islamic water management by presenting case studies on regional water issues and analyzing the extent to which Muslim-majority states behave in a way consistent with Islamic shariah law. The case studies presented in this thesis address both international cooperation related to the management of trans-boundary water basins (the Nile and Tigris-Euphrates River Basins) and domestic water management strategies employed by Muslim-majority states in the MENA region (Jordan and Yemen). In each case, it is not clear that there is consistency between the Islamic ideals discussed by academics and the actual techniques employed by various states. In international attempts at managing the shared waters of the Nile and Tigris-Euphrates Basins, the fact that many riparian states have Muslim-majority populations does not appear to make the management of trans-boundary resources any easier or more successful. The implications for Islamic water management at the domestic level is also unclear – with shariah playing a positive role in Jordanian attempts at water conservation but promoting the over-exploitation of resources in Yemen. Although shariah appears to play a limited role in the management of trans-boundary water resources, it seems to be better suited for informing how states internally manage their endowments of freshwater resources.



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