Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Water for Peace Details

Joshua Landis notes more on the idea of using Turkish water to foster a Syrian-Israeli peace deal that I first called attention to last month:
"The plan provides for the pumping of two to three billion cubic meters of water a year - more than the current total combined consumption of Israel and the Palestinian Authority - from two rivers, the Ceyhan and the Seyhan, in southeastern Turkey, for use in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. The water would be channeled from Turkey, which enjoys a huge water surplus, in underground pipes and overland canals through western Syria to the southern slopes of Mount Hermon, where it would flow into a dam along the length of the northern stretch of a new Israeli-Syrian border, providing hydro-electric power and serving as a major obstacle against a tank blitz from the Golan Heights, which would be returned to Syria as part of the projected peace package. Some of the water en route would be diverted to Lebanon and water from the dam channeled to Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

"'Everybody wins,' says the plan's author, water engineer Boaz Wachtel, an Israeli fellow at the Washington-based Freedom House, which promotes democracy, peace and human rights. 'The Arabs and Israelis get water and stability, the Turks hard currency and enhanced international status.'"

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