Good Water, Good Neighbors
At a summit titled Water After Borders: Global Stakes, Local Politics, held in Chicago in April, mayors from Jordan River Valley towns and cities around the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River signed the Sister Waters Agreement and discussed the centrality of water-sharing strategies for protecting, restoring and distributing water equitably across borders
The directors of EcoPeace Middle East—a Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli NGO—took part in the summit. They showcased the Good Water Neighbors project, which encourages local residents separated by prolonged conflict to learn about their surrounding culture and water, including waste, pollution and how to sustainably develop their shared land.
Conference organizer Rachel Havrelock, associate professor at the University of Illinois and author of River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line (University of Chicago Press), says that the vision of the project is “an open, flowing Jordan River in a valley where both humanity and monotheism began. The very concrete practices of EcoPeace provide a model for a new politics of ecological regionalism.”