Israel is smoking hot when it comes to tech start-ups, fashion, and vegetarian cuisine, but yesterday it showed signs of getting too hot for its own good. Air temperatures topped 46 degrees Celsius (nearly 115 degrees Fahrenheit) in Eilat, a record high for the Red Sea resort town according to the Israel Meteorological Service. The[.....]
Italian architect Arturo Vittori and his colleague Andreas Vogler designed a low-tech machine, based on passive design, that can produce between 50 and 100 liters of clean drinking water daily, without electrical equipment and independent of land-based water sources. This inexpensive, easily assembled tower was designed specifically for rural communities in Ethiopia that lack access to safe[.....]
Saudi Arabia is a desert country with no freshwater resources. Every day the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) produces more than three million cubic meters a day of potable water, which requires a great deal of precious energy, so every drop must be conserved. Cue NOMADD.
For some, being a farmer is suicidal. Water and land are scarce, small farmers struggle to compete with the likes of Monsanto, and there are a host of environmental problems to contend with as well. In this context, it’s almost unthinkable that this bright young man dreams of following his father’s footsteps – as a farmer in Iran.
Plastic. No word assaults our sensibilities more. Plastic in the bellies of baby birds; plastic strangling marine animals; plastic leaching chemicals into our water supply. Plastic everywhere. But with Ooho, an edible water ‘bottle’ that just about anyone can make, we could get a handle on the plastic mess – at least a little one.
Gulf countries like Abu Dhabi may lack freshwater resources, but they also have a lot of humidity. MIT’s new super efficient fog harvesting material could help countries with climates like this capture that moisture for drinking water.
Genetically-modified food has a bad reputation mostly because many food giants are mixing non-plant DNA to create drought and pest-resilient crops that we’ll eventually eat; manipulating plant DNA with plant components, however, is normal practice.
When the $10 billion Red-Dead Canal plan got the axe earlier in August, we discussed plan B for restoring some sense of water security to northern Jordan: a smaller desalination plant in Wadi Araba to trade water with Israel and Palestine.
International media is so obsessed with Iran’s forbidden access to nuclear energy and the possibility of war that a host of other issues far more worrying than war are being ignored. And it starts with water.
The Middle East faces dire water scarcity and in some places energy comes at a premium too, but we have yet to see simple solutions that address both issues at once – until now. Check out the Photoflow by NOS below.
We are absolutely thrilled to announce the launch of a new blog that will devote itself to climate change in the Arab world, a looming disaster that has been eclipsed by the rather more dramatic social and political events dominating the region’s discourse.
Chronic and even acute supplies of fresh water in Israel and other parts of the Middle East has resulted in over-dependence on desalination. Even more ominous are predictions for the future of inadequate fresh water supplies following a NASA Image Technology survey of the accelerated disappearance of a large underground fresh water sea under Syria,[.....]
Water scarcity is probably the most pressing environmental concern in the Middle East region and current desalination technologies are too costly and energy-intensive to rely on as a sustainable solution. But a new nano “water chip” that uses the power of a store-bought battery holds promise.
Water scarcity combined with desertification makes for a scary combination in the Middle East, but The Sahara Forest Project (SFP) is pioneering a promising solution: greenhouses that use saltwater to grow food in the middle of the desert.
Drip irrigation technology is a key component of Israel’s agricultural success, and Netafim is one of the industry’s leaders. Founded in 1965 and currently operating in more than 100 countries, the company recently received the prestigious 2013 Stockholm Industry Award.
Upstream hydroelectric dams have already inhibited the recovery of Iraq’s legendary Mesopotamian Marshes. A massive dam currently under construction in Turkey may wipe them out completely. For the next two months, I’ll be taking a break from my usual Green Prophet posts to report on a transnational environmental issue: the Ilısu Dam currently under construction[.....]
We are not alone in our awe of the Sahara Forest Project (SFP), which has already built a pilot project in Qatar that produces energy, clean water and food in the middle of the desert – all without a single drop of fossil fuel. Owned by biomimicry architect Michael Pawlyn, structural engineer Bill Watts, and the Norwegian[.....]
Farming is risky business in Morocco, where a 30 percent drop in precipitation since 1970 makes steady, predictable annual crop yields virtually impossible. So the World Bank was called in to help implement Plan Maroc Vert – an ambitious initiative designed to boost the country’s cereal production and create a more sustainable agricultural sector by 2020.[.....]
With the region getting drier ‘at an alarming rate’, what is there to celebrate this World Water Day? In the lead up to World Water Day which will take place next Friday, I have gathered some interesting water-based facts on the issue. The Middle East and North Africa region is famously one of the driest[.....]
Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (EUT) and Hong Kong Polytechnic University have developed a fabric that traps water molecules present in fog. This clever new technology could have applications in dry coastal zones throughout Africa and the Middle East, where lack of water is increasingly both a humanitarian and security concern. To make the[.....]
Masdar held a packed press conference late last week to announce its launch of three renewably-powered desalination pilot projects. On the last day of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Masdar CEO Dr. Sultan Al Jaber said that existing desalination technology will continue to “play its role,” but added that the company will[.....]
It seems silly to perpetuate apocalyptic hype that NASA debunked eons ago, but as 2013 approaches, we are sensitive to a shift in global consciousness – something that spiritual leaders have long advocated as the necessary means to our survival. As the conversation about climate change and other environmental issues gains traction, it’s a good[.....]
There has been a lot of fuss about Jordan’s nuclear ambitions and activists in the kingdom have been vocal about their opposition, but all this hullabaloo might be for nought according to an industry expert. Speaking with The Jordan Times, Steve Thomas from Greenwich University said that high construction costs, complicated regulatory requirements and the[.....]
The 19-month conflict in Syria goes from bad to worse – and there are environmental impacts for the region too “The situation is bad and getting worse,” U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said today, lamenting the collapse of the truce he helped broker over the Eid al-Adha holiday. A car bomb which exploded near[.....]
Turkish designers who anticipate severe water shortages in the next few decades have designed the dualWash – a waterless dish washer that cleans single dishes after every single use. Mitigating huge stacks of dirty dishes and waste water resources, the dual dishwasher and cabinet uses carbon dioxide to rid dishes of crumbs and sauce and other[.....]
Iranians may have turned to aubergines due to chicken shortages – but the world over may be forced to go vegetarian due to food shortages in the next 40 years According to the latest findings, the world’s population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid[.....]
What’s hotter than Italian-designer Gabriel Diamanti talking about a solar-powered desalination device for the 99%? Not much, except for the Eliodomestico that he built during his graduate studies at the Milan Polytechnic in 2005. Following extensive travel to parts of the world that can no longer take fresh water supplies for granted, like Saudi Arabia,[.....]
According to scientists from Canada and the Netherlands, the world is depleting underground water reserves faster than they can be replenished In the Middle East, water shortages are a widely accepted reality which many countries are trying to fight head on. Worldwide, however, the issue is not so pressing with environmental issues such as energy[.....]
Jordan’s armed security forces have been enlisted to protect the Kingdom’s scarce water resources from recurring vandalism and theft. Jordan is dealing with an increase in water theft. Ironically, as I type, I am awaiting a water truck arrival to refill our new apartment’s tank: I’d jumped in the shower, turned the knobs, and was met[.....]
According to a recent report by charities, Gaza’s only source of fresh water is contaminated with fertiliser and human waste The water and waste infrastructure in Gaza has been slowly deteriorating for years now. War damage, political conflict and dwindling resources are all part of the problem – however, the most troubling aspect is that[.....]
Art has a way of jarring our perspective. Here are 6 groundbreaking projects that are changing the way people in the Middle East relate to their environment. Just today we read about an Egyptian artist who has spread her creative wings since Mubarak’s fall only to have them clipped again by increasing powerful Islamist groups.[.....]
Jordan’s hosting of forced migrants is overburdening already stressed water resources. Humanitarianism has an unanticipated knock-on to fresh water supplies, as Jordan is starting to realize. Syrian refugees harbored in kingdom are draining the desert nation’s scarce water resources, reports Lebanon’s Daily Star. This presents a new setback for Jordan, one of the world’s most[.....]
Although water scarcity is unlikely to lead to water waters, it is still devastating for the development and survival of any nation The latest report by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), “The Green Economy in a Changing Arab World”, definitely doesn’t make for happy reading. In fact, it is positively terrifying. According[.....]
A hydrogel could make deserts flourish with crops grown on under a fifth of the water.
Just when thousands of expatriates were fleeing their Gulf homes during the global economic collapse four years ago, Nick Leech was moving in. He was one of the lucky ones, but that has more to do with his diverse talents than good luck. Originally from the UK, Nick first trained as an architectural and design[.....]
10,000 years after inventing agriculture, will we 7 billion take this strange next step?
A powerful short film by Iranian-Canadian filmmaker Raha Shirazi, Acqua will make you look at water with new eyes. Raha Shirazi’s film Acqua is almost guaranteed to make you never take water for granted again. In it, a woman walks through snow in search of water with a jar on her back. Everywhere there is water,[.....]
Five thousand Syrians have died since the uprising started but climate change could kill many more in this dry country. Approximately 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began in March last year, according to UN estimates, and an additional 600 detainees and political prisoners have died under torture. And yet there is[.....]
This image taken in the western Gambella region of Ethiopia shows irrigation canals being dug by the agricultural firm owned by Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi. Last week BBC News reported that 70,000 indigenous people have been forced to relocate in the western Gambella region of Ethiopia to new villages that lack adequate resources for[.....]
The EU plans to help fend off a growing water shortage in Gaza with a 10 million euro desalination plant. The European Union has pledged to build a €10 million desalination plant that will service Khan Yunis and Rafah in Gaza. This is a “medium-term” project designed to alleviate what is Gaza’s evolving water shortages.[.....]
According to recent research, an increase in wintertime droughts in the Mediterranean is partly down to human-caused climate change Over the last 20 years, 10 of the driest winters have taken place in the Mediterranean region that stretches from Gibraltar to the Middle East. As the region accumulates most of its precipitation during the wintertime,[.....]
The Alliance of Religions and Conservation has launched a special water conservation guide aimed at Muslim women and families Every year at Hajj, Muslims commemorate the struggle of Hajjar; an Egyptian hand-maid and second wife of the Prophet Ibrahim [pbuh] who was stranded in the desert without water for her child. The hajj pilgrims walk,[.....]
Looking deeper into the pitfalls and promise of Desertec at Dii conference in Cairo. Green Prophet’s Tafline is there and reports from the field. Instead of scrambling to find funds and legislative support for the Desertec initiative, a handful of people gathered at the Dii conference in Cairo to explore the project’s overall environmental sustainability.[.....]
This incredible solar-powered artificial leaf that creates ice and water in Egypt’s Sahara desert is well on its way to becoming a reality! We have learned time and again what a mistake it is to see the desert as a giant wasteland, a fact that artist Ap Verheggen intends to drive home with the incredible SunGlacier[.....]
Green-fingered activists will be flocking to Jordan to attend the tenth International Permaculture Conference this September The bustling city of Amman and sweeping red sands of Wadi Rum in Jordan will be hosting the International Permaculture conference this month. The theme of the event is ‘Plan Jordan – Water’ which is rather apt considering that[.....]
This infographic by Carboun tells you everything you ever wanted to know about water and the Middle East but couldn’t be bothered to read Building on the blossoming debate on water and its complexities and Carboun’s first infographic on the carbon emissions from the region, comes this second infographic which aims to decode the water[.....]
Water rich or water poor? Doomed by desalination or dealing with the problem? Get the facts on Israel’s water situation. Following my latest post on water recycling and desalination in Israel, some commentators have raised questions about the seemingly contradictory facts on Israel and water. Whilst the Israeli water authority constantly warns of a water[.....]
Water trouble has forced residents at Dubai’s man-made Palm Island to wash in the sea and use toilets at shopping malls The sustainability and usefulness of Dubai’s artificial palm-shaped Island has been widely debated but I think a recent problem at one luxury complex has ironically helped raise awareness of how difficult life can be[.....]
All this water from only 8 hours use of 1 hp AC unit! Given the continued shortage of fresh water in many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, my thoughts again turn towards making use of the run-off water created by air conditioners during the hot, sticky summer months. This idea has[.....]
Egypt is losing an estimated 11,736 hectres of agricultural land every year according to UN sources From food contaminated with human waste in Cairo due to water shortages to concerns that the country could be on the brink of famine, Egypt is facing its fair share of food problems. Now, there are reports that desertification[.....]
Anti-nuclear campaigners in Jordan have staged another protest against the nation’s plans to build a nuclear reactor Around a month ago, Jordanians held a protest in Amman against the government’s plans to build a nuclear station which they remarked posed more risks than potential positive impacts. Now, they have stepped up their protests with support[.....]
The Palestinian environmentalist Taleb Al Harithi was born in a small town near Hebron called Idna in 1955. After gaining his PhD in 1986, he became a professor for Earth and Environmental Sciences and now works as a consultant for environmental health in the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Hebron alongside his post as a[.....]