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Water knows no borders – The Red Sea-Dead Sea “Peace” Conduit

“Water knows no borders,” says Dr Clive Lipchin of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel. Through collaborative study of water issues in the Jordan River region, Dr Lipchin hopes to also help break down Jewish-Arab political borders in the Middle East.
Water knows no borders – The Red Sea-Dead Sea “Peace” Conduit

Dr Clive Lipchin of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel

Dr Lipchin, Director of Arava’s Centre for Integrated Water Resource Management in the Middle East, spoke to International WaterCentre Masters students about the Red Sea-Dead Sea Conduit and other environmental issues of the region.

“The International WaterCentre and the Arava Institute share common goals,” Dr Lipchin said. “Both strive to create leaders who tackle water issues in integrated and sustainable ways across the boundaries of disciplines and regions, and achieve greater goals than just water management.”

To help realise the dream of collaboration in the Middle East, the Arava Institute brings students from Jewish, Arab and western backgrounds together to work and study in its Master of Desert Studies program. Students look at environmental issues, conflict resolution and cultural understanding. They learn from Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian water and environmental experts and participate in regular peace building seminars and debates.

“The Red Sea-Dead Sea ‘Peace Conduit’ brings with it a great opportunity for breaking down political borders,” says Dr Lipchin. Sponsored by the World Bank, the project is currently a feasibility study of a water conveyance system which would pump water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea to restore Dead Sea water levels and supply desalinated drinking water to the region. If successful, the project would be the largest ever undertaken in the Middle East.

“Our hope is to one day see Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian leaders working together in collaboration in this project,” said Dr Lipchin. “This politically, environmentally and spiritually important part of the world could see these governments taking transboundary steps towards co-operation and peace in the Middle East.”
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