Law School to host international water conference Nov. 4-6

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Joe Schwartz

Cornell Law School will host a three-day conference Nov. 4-6, "Water Scarcity and Policy in the Middle East and Mediterranean." Scholars from Egypt, Tunisia, Greece, Spain, Lebanon, Ethiopia, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel will gather at the Law School to discuss the growing water crisis in the region.

The Mediterranean basin is not only one of the most water-stressed regions of the world; it is widely considered to have the most potential for conflicts over scarce water. The U.N. and the World Bank have issued warnings about the international implications of this situation. The conference will begin dialogues across geographic and disciplinary borders, bringing international and Cornell scholars and students together to consider the legal, technical, political and cultural problems of the region.

Three speakers will address the conference: Baylie Damtie, president of Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia; Professor Stephen McCaffrey, McGeorge Law School, University of the Pacific, an expert on international water law; and Michael Scoullos, president of Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean.

On Nov. 5, panel discussions will consider water rights and management, hydrology and climate, Mediterranean perspectives, and water issues in Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territories. McCaffrey will give the lunchtime address, and Scoullos will speak following the panels. On Nov. 6 there will be a discussion concerning the current water crisis and suggestions on how the forum might contribute to drafting a policy for the future of the region. Posters will be displayed during the conference.

The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, the Cornell Law School's Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and North Africa, the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, and the Mediterranean Initiative of the Cornell Institute for European Studies sponsor the conference. For information email Gail Holst Warhaft lh3@cornell.edu, Tammo Steenhuis tss1@cornell.edu or Chantal Thomas ct343@cornell.edu.


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