July 3, 2015
Tap Dance: Water’s Effect on Arab-Israeli Relations – Christa Case Bryant
The dramatic increase in Israel’s water supply over the past five years has opened the way for potential cooperation with its thirsty Arab neighbors. “If Israel’s water economy was 2 billion cubic meters per year five to seven years ago, today it’s approaching 3 bcm, and that’s a game changer,” says Gidon Bromberg, Israeli director of EcoPeace Middle East.
In March, Israel doubled its sales of water to Gaza from 5 million cubic meters to 10 mcm. Also in March, Israel and Jordan agreed to a water swap, in which Israel will provide water to northern Jordan from the Sea of Galilee, which will help to alleviate the stress on Jordan’s resources caused by a massive influx of Syrian refugees. In exchange, Jordan will build a desalination plant in Aqaba to provide water to southern Jordan and Israel. (Christian Science Monitor)
Israel’s Expertise at Water Management Seen as a Resource for Prosperity and Peace – John Yemma
According to a recent study, places already experiencing water stress include Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Yemen, India, China, and parts of the U.S. The decades ahead will require smarter water management. Israel has mastered the water cycle and become the world’s beta site for water management. Israel is exporting water to Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Gaza. (Christian Science Monitor)
How Israel Defies Drought – Christa Case Bryant
At Ein Yahav in Israel’s Arava desert, they grew roses when others said it was impossible. They created naturally air-conditioned greenhouses by setting up “wet curtains” – honeycombed walls that allowed water to seep through slowly. They planted flowers in trenches of volcanic ash instead of the sandy soil. Later they switched to dates and peppers. Today the former moonscape has become an agricultural Eden, with rows of greenhouses This narrow strip of land along the Jordanian border produces 65% of Israel’s vegetable exports.
Driven by a combination of necessity and inventiveness, Israel has become one of the world’s leaders in how to wring the most out of parsimonious amounts of rainfall and turn a parched landscape into a productive garden. The Israelis are turning seawater into tap water, pioneering new types of irrigation, and reusing wastewater at the highest rate of any country in the world. (Christian Science Monitor)