Type: Seminar

Water diplomacy in the Middle East: Israel, Jordan and Palestine


Victoria Pebbles, President of Watersprite

Date & time

Nov 8, 2021, 11:30 am-12:45 pm EST
Nov 12, 2021, 2:00-5:00 pm EST


3240 Weill (Monday) 1210 Weill (Friday)
735 South State Street Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Popular news coverage of the Middle East rarely touches on issues of water. Perceptions of ubiquitous chaos prevail, yet people who live there must carry on with their daily lives where water is central to meeting basic needs. Where does the water in Israel, Jordan and Palestine come from and how are water resources in this region managed? This workshop, run by Victoria Pebbles, President of Watersprite, will address these questions and explore the concept of “water diplomacy” and its application in this region of the Middle East. They will gain insights into the laws, institutions and other means of governance that impact water resource management and how they are working. Equipped with this information, students will engage in rotational breakouts where they will represent each of the parties (Israel, Jordan and Palestine) and be tasked with identifying mechanisms that could be implemented to enable more sustainable water management in the region. 

Speaker's bio: Victoria Pebbles has been working to advance environmental and water policy for 30 years.  Her early career years were spent on the west coast and in Washington, D.C. working for the Senate and the USEPA. After that, she settled in Ann Arbor, Michigan to raise a family and began a stint with the binational Great Lakes Commission which became a career. Throughout her career Victoria established herself as a systems thinker and leader working with eight states and two Canadian provinces to develop and lead programs to improve water quality, water infrastructure, climate, energy, agriculture, and accountability in regional governance. Along the way, she advocated for relevant state and federal policies, published multiple articles and book chapters and delivered copious presentations. Her most recent works focus on water diplomacy and the food-energy-water nexus. In 2020, Victoria launched Watersprite consulting services to advance sustainable water solutions. Its namesake—the elemental spirit that inhabits and protects water—inspires Watersprite to realize water’s central role in sustaining life on earth.

This simulation will be moderated by John Ciorciari, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Director of the International Policy Center and Weiser Diplomacy Center and author of Sovereignty Sharing in Fragile States (2021).


  • Open to all University of Michigan students, but the simulation capacity is limited. Depending on interest, attendees may be selected at random, and those chosen will be notified via email to confirm their attendance.
  • Participants are required to attend both sessions.
  • The sign up will close on November 1st at 12pm.

Health and safety

Attendees are expected to follow current University of Michigan health and safety protocols, including the use of face masks inside all campus buildings, and should complete the mandatory ResponsiBLUE screening prior to entering Weill Hall, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Please see the U-M Campus Maize and Blueprint for all current public health guidance, policy, and answers to frequently asked questions. For contact tracing purposes, please register for this event using the form linked at the top of this listing.

Have any questions?