"Israel said on Monday it was building a 1.5 billion shekel ($423 million) desalination plant, which upon completion in 2013, will join four other plants in providing the country with three-quarters of its drinking water."
"Foreign firefighters and aircraft poured into Israel Friday in an unprecedented wave of international assistance as the country battled a huge forest fire that has killed at least 41 people and displaced thousands."
"The Middle East is facing its worst water crisis in decades. For three summers, the annual rains have failed to come. Farmland has dried up across the region in Iraq, Syria, southeast Turkey and Lebanon."
Get an international perspective with IPS news stories written by professional journalists of Africa, Asia-Pacific, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, MidEast & Mediterranean, and North America, about their local areas.
"More than 100,000 people in northern Iraq have abandoned their homes since 2005 because of water stress, after drought and over-extraction of groundwater caused the collapse of an ancient water system, UNESCO said on Tuesday."