Sallai Meridor, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., was waiting quietly to board his flight to Aspen. I introduced myself and he knowingly smiled when I said I’d be leading a session about water at the Aspen Ideas Festival. “I grew up thinking about water,” he replied, his voice revealing an intimacy with water tracing back to childhood. It’s hard to have a long conversation about Israel without talking about the chronic water shortages of the region, and about the interrelated opportunities for conflict or cooperation. Even though water is fundamental to survival and that most of us in the United States have plenty of clean water to drink, how can we make thinking about water — in the most global, unified sense — as basic as drinking it? We’ll be sharing at least some of the answers here on Friday.
J. Carl Ganter is co-founder and director of Circle of Blue, the internationally recognized center for original frontline reporting, research, and analysis on resource issues with a focus on the intersection between water, food, and energy.