With the Middle East's water supplies so scarce, managing the resource has become a political issue. But in contrast to the ongoing military and political conflicts that plague the region, the scientific community is collaborating to tackle the issues, says Eric Pallant in this letter to Science.
Israeli and Palestinian planners have been working together since 1997 to clean up the Alexander River — removing pollutants, treating raw sewage and landscaping river parks.
Another research project in the Besor/Khalil watershed has drawn them together to analyse water quality and problems from the river's source in the West Bank highlands to its outlet in the Mediterranean.
Israelis and Palestinians along with scientists from Jordan are also cooperating in the Good Water Neighbours project to share best practice for water conservation.