Model Basin Commission

Building on the effort of the Regional NGO Master Plan for the Lower Jordan River released in June 2015, EcoPeace Middle East’s Jordan River Rehabilitation Program, with the support of the Swedish International Development Agency, developed a Model Basin Commission for the Jordan River

[For publications relevant to this project, click here]

publication governance structures

This effort proposes a governance structure for the Lower Jordan River based on best practices and lessons learned from existing transboundary basin commissions. The Model Basin Commission upholds principles of international water law, cooperative sustainable water management and the advancement of mutual benefits through the approval and implementation of a regional master plan.

The Model Basin Commission proposes a legal framework and provides a detailed description of the governance bodies, political, financial, scientific, monitoring and data collection and exchange, technical and operational and financing. The Model Basin Commission also includes dispute resolution mechanisms.

The Model Basin Commission entitled “Governance Structures for Transboundary Water Management in the Jordan Basin” was presented at EcoPeace’s Annual Regional Conference in November 2016.

Best practices and common failures in river basin management.

In 2009 EcoPeace partnered with the Yale Environmental Law clinic in a research effort to identify best practices and common failures in river basin management with regard to sustainable development, conflict mitigation and cooperation, and equitable distribution of river flows. The purpose was to inform the efforts towards forming a multilateral organization to successfully manage the divergent water demands within Jordan River basin. A literature review was conducted to identify major transboundary river basins and to describe, in general terms, their ecosystems, political settings and the terms of their transboundary water management agreements. Subsequently, an in-depth study of two selected river basins, the Okavango and the Indus Basins, was undertaken to identify best practices for successful transboundary river basin management. Below are links to the two papers which give both provide information about the basin management strategies adopted by the riparians as well as identify best practices and relevance for application to the Lower Jordan River Valley.

Karres, Nathan. Lessons from the Indus Basin: Identification of Best Management Practices for Transboundary Rivers. School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, January 2010.


The Indus Basin has been well studied for its purported success in cooperative transboundary management. This report examines the legal framework of the Indus Waters Treaty and the institutional structure of the Permanent Indus Commission. Highlighted are significant practices and procedures that can be utilized for cooperative international basin management within the context of political conflict.

Shoub, Janna. The Okavango River Basin: A literature review. School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, January 2010.