quality water and desalination of brackish water and seawater), by importing water from outside the study area, by transferring unused water within the study area (water imports and transfers are mentioned but not analyzed in this report), and by attempting to increase the renewable amount of water available (cloud seeding). Again, these options are discussed further in Chapter 5.

Applications and New Research

For each option it is desirable to ask at least two questions. Has an examination been made of all the available information on the option and the factors known to affect their adoption and use? And is it likely that new research might significantly change that assessment? For example, on the demand side no comprehensive study has been carried out of the range of social factors affecting domestic water withdrawal in the study area. At the same time, on the supply side a simpler technology for desalting or filtering water at domestic taps might be developed for arid land conditions. Research agencies have the challenge of deciding what new technology and what mix of technologies and management strategies deserve further exploration. Both kinds of initiatives—canvassing the effectiveness of existing options and exploring innovative technologies—need to be pursued.

Next Steps

This report offers a range of findings and observations on water resource management options. We believe that these options deserve careful examination by the many individuals and organizations who are concerned with the future of water and society in the Middle East. Thoughtful appraisal of experience to date is needed, along with discerning investigation of new relationships and technologies. The results will provide a solid basis for thoughtful, peaceful action to achieve the sustained use of crucial water resources. Rather than suggest a particular political plan, the committee has outlined a broad scope of concepts from which constructive action can emerge.

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