An issue that's garnered little attention in the Middle East peace negotiations is the water crisis. Israel and Palestine reside in rocky terrains that are often times drought stricken, making access to fresh water a growing disparity gap between the standards of living that the two nations experience.
With the construction of expansive desalination plants along Israel's Mediterranean coast, the country boasts that in roughly three years their water crisis will be defunct. Currently 25 percent of Israel's drinking water comes from these plants, and it reuses 70 percent of the water that comes from its homes on the cultivation of agriculture--creating lush farmlands. However, herein lies the conflict: much of the water Israelis use is not entirely there's, as much of it comes from aquifers under Palestinian land.
Friends of Earth Middle East is an organization made up of Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians that aims to address this contentious water issue. The organization sees this issue as hurting both sides. An example can be seen in over pumping from of the Jordan River--a river that flows through Israel and the West Bank. The once mighty river is dwindling away as 98 percent of the river's historical flow, no longer flows. This is a result of the mismanagement of water resources by both Israel and Palestine.
"Environmental degradation cannot wait until there is an end to the conflict. And you are thinking about the future generations," said Nader Al Khateeb, a member Friends of the Earth Middle East.
"Water is a human right issue and shouldn't be kept hostage of the conflict." --Nader Al Khateeb, Friends of the Earth Middle East
"If you look around us, we will see that the Palestinian land is totally bare now. There is no farming here because there is no water." Nader Al Khateeb
"There is much leakage in their -- in their pipes. And I don't think it is making much sense that we should provide them with more freshwater, so that it will get lost in their leaking system." --Uzi Landau, Isreali infrastructure minister
1. Where is the Middle East?
2. What do you know about the conflict between Israel and Palestine?
3. Why is water such a powerful commodity?
1. Why do you suppose the water crisis between Israel and Palestine has gained little attention?
2. How do you think more access to water can create disparities between nations?
3. Why is water so essential? Imagine having access to little or no water. How might your daily life be altered?