Who’ll stop the rain? It’s not the question anymore. In many parts of the world, the question is, “Have you ever seen the rain?” This is especially true in parts of Northern African and the Middle East where raindrops don’t keep falling on their heads and soon everyone will only be happy when it rains. The only thing worse than being a fool in the rain is being a fool in life threateningly dry conditions, all of which brings us to the cloud wars of the Middle East. “Countries in the region have embarked on a race to develop the chemicals and techniques that they hope will enable them to squeeze rain drops out of clouds that would otherwise float fruitlessly overhead. With 12 of the 19 regional countries averaging less than 10 inches of rainfall a year, a decline of 20 percent over the past 30 years, their governments are desperate for any increment of fresh water, and cloud seeding is seen by many as a quick way to tackle the problem.” But it’s not so easy to make it rain. The cloud seeding programs have been largely unsuccessful, but that hasn’t stopped countries like Iran from accusing its neighbors in the region of stealing their rain before their clouds arrived. This, after all, is the Middle East where even though it’s desert-dry, when it rains it pours. NYT (Gift Article): Cloud Wars: Mideast Rivalries Rise Along a New Front.

+ Water is the new oil in the Middle East, except the former is even more vital to survival. That’s a big part of the reason we’re seeing many of Israel’s traditional enemies reaching out to make peace deals. Israel has built an exceptional, resilient water economy. Like many freshwater lakes, the Sea of Galilee is drying up. Israel “plans to pump water from the Mediterranean sea, take the salt out of it and send it across the country to top up the lake when needed.”

+ Pumping water out of the seas seems like a good idea, because the seas are rising. Maybe desalination can help us drink our way out of the problem. The latest? ‘Zombie ice’ from Greenland will raise sea level 10 inches.

+ Thirst Trap: A little closer to home, California is set to attempt a program that seems like it could be a win-win. The state will cover some aqueducts with solar panels, which will reduce evaporation and produce energy at the same time.