Water Diplomacy



Many of the world’s current conflicts have resource issues at their core and, increasingly, the resource in question is fresh water. Because the Great Lakes have a relative abundance of water and a history of successful cross-border management, the region has the potential to be the world’s leading site of innovative approaches to water issues. The academic setting of the Freshwater Lab ensures that approaches to governance and conflict resolution are rooted in research and unmotivated by political ideology. Its working theory maintains that because water constitutes a universal human need, cross-community management and conservation of water can provide the basis for enduring relationships whose very material outcomes provide the basis for the long-term resolution of conflict.

The Freshwater Lab’s work in water diplomacy is encouraged and inspired by working relationships with the International Joint Commission, the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence River Cities Initiative, and the Great Lakes initiatives of the EPA-EnviroCanada.



“Sister Waters“ Partnership between Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and

EcoPeace Middle East (Good Water Program Mayors/Municipalities)

Memorandum of Understanding


Affirmation of the Amman-Chicago Sister City Relationship

Representing Amman, Jordan:

  • Eng. Munir Oweis, City Council Member and CEO of Jordan Water Company – Miyahuna

Representing Chicago, Illinois, United States:

  • President Mariyana Spyropoulos, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago


Sister Water Partnership

Representing the Jordan River and the Dead Sea:

  • Mr. Hassan Jirmi, Mayor of Zubeidat, Palestine
  • Mr. Khalifah Suliman Mohammad Aldayyat, Mayor of Dier Allah, Jordan
  • Mr. Ran Molho, Israeli Kinerret (Sea of Galilee) Drainage Authority, on behalf of Yossi Vardi, Mayor of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, Israel

Representing the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River:

  • Mayor John Dickert (Racine, Wisconsin, USA), Chair – GLSL Cities Initiative
  • Mayor Mitch Twolan (Huron-Kinloss, Ontario, Canada), Vice Chair – GLSL Cities
  • Mayor Denis Lapointe (Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec, Canada), Past Chair and current board member – GLSL Cities Initiative


Signatories of the memorandum of understanding

Signatories of the memorandum of understanding

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding

Mayor John Dickert, Racine, Wisconsin (left), Dr. Rachel Havrelock (center), and Timothy Killeen, President of University of Illinois (right)

Mr. Hassan Jirmi (left), Mayor of Zubeidat, Palestine & Mr. Ran Molho (right), on behalf of Yossi Vardi, Mayor of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, Israel