Transboundary water management in the Jordan River basin and the Blue Nile basin has historically been difficult. While water diplomacy surrounding the Jordan River is obstructed by decades of geopolitical conflicts between the riparians and unilateral infrastructure projects, cooperation over the Blue Nile has been hampered by conflicting views on water ownership and resource utilization for most of the 20th and 21st century.
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What makes this particularly painful for that residents of Khuzestan is that the dams on the Karun are not only used for generating energy and irrigating agricultural land, they are also used to channel water via tunnels to other provinces, notably Isfahan in central Iran, which is politically more power. Many residents in Khuzestan feel that their water is being stolen.