Georges Gharios

Current research/thesis title:

Over troubled waters: Delving into the institutional dynamics of water law in Lebanon

"How did the interactions between the plurality of laws, complex administrations, and indigenous hydrological competences shape the current status of water management in Lebanon at the strategic, regulatory and operational level?"

In my thesis, I am going to study the role of indigenous water arrangements, customary law and inherited practices in developing water resources in Lebanon in a sustainable and precautionary manner; the formal (imported) and informal (indigenous) agricultural water management practices in several cases in Lebanon and the objective indicators of success or failures; and the reform of the legislative texts in Lebanon from a sustainable and adaptive, community-based, bottom-up approach taking into consideration the local customs and habits.

Because the Lebanese government is insisting on applying neoliberal imported reformative concepts such as IMT, IWRM and WUAs despite the potential failures, and resistance from the farmers to such change and because the Lebanese government has only reformed the administrative structures of water management in Lebanon and not the legislative texts, my research aims at reviewing the historical chronology of the Lebanese water laws since the 17th century and trying to match the findings with the problematic of my research, analyzing the administration of the Lebanese water sector since the French mandate, reviewing the reforms developed by the Lebanese government since independence, reviewing the history of agricultural water management in Lebanon during the last 100 years, and finally comparing several cases of formal and informal systems.