How a new source of water is helping reduce conflict in the Middle East

Editor:   The following is an excerpt of an article by Rowan Jacobsen. It offers an intriguing idea and opportunity that not only could help bring water to countries (and villages) parched by continuing drought but also help resolve conflicts between warring nations.

Scientists and others look to desalination as a way to unite longtime enemies in a common cause.

Israel's Sorek Desalination Plant - an opportunity for water and easing conflicts

Israel’s Sorek Desalination Plant – an opportunity for water and easing conflicts

Ten miles south of Tel Aviv, I stand on a catwalk over two concrete reservoirs the size of football fields and watch water pour into them from a massive pipe emerging from the sand. The pipe is so large I could walk through it standing upright, were it not full of Mediterranean seawater pumped from an intake a mile offshore.

“Now, that’s a pump!” Edo Bar-Zeev shouts to me over the din of the motors, grinning with undisguised awe at the scene before us. The reservoirs beneath us contain several feet of sand through which the seawater filters before making its way to a vast metal hangar, where it is transformed into enough drinking water to supply 1.5 million people.

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The inspiring film Solar Mamas premieres tonite!

Women of the Middle East and developing countries have few options or opportunities in their lives, other than to be wives and mothers. This is what makes the new film Solar Mamas, which premieres tonite on PBS , so remarkable.The film follows the journey of 27 women – poor and mostly illiterate – as they leave their families and villages to attend a six month training course at India’s Barefoot College. There, they will learn to become solar engineers and, ultimately small business owners.

To learn more and find out when it will be broadcast in your area, go to http://www.pbs/indepentlens/solar-mamas.