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Northwestern to host fourth annual Symposium on Water in Israel and the Middle East

The symposium will be held May 6 at the Norris University Center

Water coming out of a faucet

The Symposium on Water in Israel and the Middle East is returning to Northwestern University for its fourth year on May 6, focusing on water-scarce areas that impact up to 4 billion people each year.

“Drought, insecurity and conflict create the conditions that undermine health by lowering economic productivity; triggering and perpetuating domestic, social, inter-communal and political tensions and conflicts; and reinforcing environmental, social and gender inequities,” said Sera Young, one of the co-chairs of the symposium and a professor in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “It is our hope that discussions at Northwestern continue to build towards hope, peace and prosperity for Israel, the Middle East and beyond.”

Speakers at the symposium include Yaakov Garb, senior lecturer at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Yochanan Kushnir, Columbia University professor; Giora Shaham, director general and chairman of the Board of the Governmental Authority for Water and Sewage of Israel; and Jim Yoon, water security and resilience scientist with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 

The speakers will cover topics including water security in Jordan, climate change, water shortage and water contamination in the Hebron Foothills.

The symposium is a collaboration between the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies, Center for Water Research, McCormick School of Engineering and Weinberg College.

Northwestern students can continue to engage with water management issues in the region through other opportunities including the Global Engineering Trek (GET): Water trip to Israel.

The program is based off the Global Engineering Trek (GET): Sustainability program in Germany for freshmen Northwestern students.

The program in Israel is in its second year and is a collaboration between Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies, Center for Water Research, Institute for Sustainability and Energy and Engineering Global Initiatives. 

More information on the Global Engineering Trek (GET): Water program can be found here:

More information on the Fourth Annual Symposium on Water in Israel and the Middle East can be found here:

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