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Joint Study of Israeli-Palestinian Watersheds Recognized at Major Water Conference in Vienna

Joint Study of Israeli-Palestinian Watersheds Recognized at Major Water Conference in Vienna

April 28, 2011

Press Releases

Among Israelis and Palestinians concern for river pollution knows no borders.

A joint study by BGU researchers and their Palestinian counterparts recently received the first annual International Journal of River Basin Management (JRBM) award at a major conference on water in Vienna.

The study focused on two different trans-border watersheds. These include the Alexander River that flows in the Northern West Bank through Israel to the Mediterranean Sea, and the Basor street that runs from the Southern West Bank through Beer-Sheva and back into Gaza where it empties into the sea.

The group found that pollution was not only destroying the rivers and connected ecosystems, but was also seeping into groundwater and harming drinking water sources.

 “We sat down and tried to look at exactly what was in the water so we could clean it up,” says BGU Prof. Alon Tal, one of the co-authors of the study. Most of the pollution is due to the lack of sewage treatment in the Palestinian areas, and the overuse of pesticides by Israeli farmers.

“Both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide came together in a spirit of cooperation to address a pressing regional environment Researchal issue,” says Professor Paul Bates, JRBM’s editor-in-chief.

“When one considers the trans-boundary nature of the problem studied by Tal and his colleagues and the highly complex local political context, it becomes clear what a singular achievement this work represents.”

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About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. Activities include showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research through educational programs, events and informative communications. AABGU’s main purpose is to support Ben-Gurion’s vision and the university that bears his name by creating a community of Americans committed to improving the world tomorrow from the heart of the Israeli desert today.

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