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Tapping Solutions to the World's Water Crisis

September 19, 2004

Re "Drying the Tears of Thirsty Nations" by Margaret Wertheim, Opinion, Sept. 12: The important article on the water crisis that our planet is facing has ignored the effect of politics on the solution of this crisis. Israel, where water has always been critically scarce, has been able to cope by inventing and improving techniques -- desalination, novel irrigation technologies, conservation of rainfall water, etc. -- that could help solve many of the problems of water-challenged nations elsewhere.

Israel is currently supplying clean water and providing sanitation and sewers not only to its own population but also to the hostile Palestinian populations in the West Bank and Gaza.

What a pity, therefore, that because the December clean water conference will be held in Egypt, Israel may not be invited and, in any case, any suggestions or help it would offer would be angrily refused by the Muslims.

Si Frumkin

Studio City

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Wertheim failed to address the overriding challenge to providing safe water and adequate sanitation: world overpopulation.

This area is sacrosanct and cannot be touched? No, this situation will be dealt with. It can be addressed by education, cultural shift, universal birth control availability or left to self- propelled famine, war and disease.

The choice is clear: The United States must be the leader.

Shirley E. Roth

Fountain Valley

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