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This article appears in the June 14, 2024 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]

LaRouche’s ‘Oasis Plan’—Key Features of Water and Power for Southwest Asia

June 7—This map was designed and issued in May 2024 by Karel Vereycken, Paris-based infrastructure journalist with the Schiller Institute–France.

Based on the Oasis Plan concept put forward in 1975 by Lyndon LaRouche, for development in Southwest Asia, this map is provided to further discussion of the Oasis Plan among experts and others in the world community mobilizing to end the bloodshed, and provide an active vision for peace.

See for example, the 1994 speech given by Lyndon LaRouche in Moscow, “The Oasis Plan: Development Is the Key to Peace in the Middle East.”

A recent expert review was given by Turkish hydrologist Dursun Yildiz, posted May 17, 2024, “Do the Regional Economic Development Plans Bring Peace and Stability to the Middle East?

Vereycken provides a more in-depth history of water conveyance systems in the region shown, on his blog.

Map Features

The map identifies key infrastructure projects for water and power, and related features for the economic improvement of the seven-nation region, but with a focus on Palestine-Israel and the Jordan River Basin.

The most important already existing water systems are in dark blue, in Israel and Jordan. In light blue are the proposed routes of water conveyance systems, potentially consisting of pipelines, tunnels, and other channels, along with reservoirs, pumping systems, and desalination facilities.

The Oasis Plan is a smart plan using the constraints of the water resources and geology, to make them instruments for development. The features of the map, and the Plan, include the following:

Coastal Desalination. Water should be “demilitarized” and “de-geopoliticized.” For example, a floating, underwater or off-shore desalination plant (shown in blue) will be immediately stationed off the coast of the Gaza Strip to allow emergency reconstruction.

This 150-page International Atomic Energy Agency report from 1972 cited the Middle East as a priority location for new development complexes based on plentiful power and water.

Med-Dead and Red-Dead Conveyance Systems. Seawater will be conveyed, including by pumping it over the mountains, from the Mediterranean and Red Seas, in part to refill the Dead Sea and in part to supply large amounts of fresh water for all nations of the region. Upon arriving at the Dead Sea, the elevation falls 400 meters (1,312 feet), providing the opportunity to generate enough hydroelectric energy to power at least the pumping over the mountains. On the shores of the Dead Sea, a series of small modular high-temperature reactors (SMR-HTR), using thorium as fuel and molten salt as coolant, can provide large-scale desalination. “Hybrid desalination” will employ the heat for evaporation and the electricity for reverse osmosis. The fresh water (52%) will go to Palestine, Jordan, and Israel. The remaining salty brine (48%) from this facility will be piped to the Dead Sea, whose salinity is 27%, thereby halting its demise. The private minerals industry (potash, magnesium, etc.) at the southern Dead Sea Basin, could share part of the costs, while becoming itself an integrated part of the desalination unit.

Power Supplies. The reservoirs of the water conveyance systems will also function as a Pumped Storage Power Plant (PSPP), essential for regulating the region’s power grids. In Israel, the existing Dimona nuclear center and power plant (currently a military reactor) will form the basis for the creation of a civilian nuclear program, and contribute to the construction of nuclear desalination plants. Jordan can supply both thorium and uranium.

Agro-Industrial Development, New Cities. New cities and development corridors will “irrigate” the region with economic activity around the new water conveyance systems, three of which potential locations are indicated on the map. Part of the seawater going through the Med-Dead water conveyance system can be desalinated in Beersheba, the historical “capital of the Negev,” whose population, with new, fresh water supplies, can be doubled. The Negev desert takes up 62% of Israel’s territory, but houses only 9% of its total population. Bringing water to the Negev will create thousands of jobs. Agriculture, aquaculture and other activity will flourish.

In particular, industrial heat of the nuclear desalination facilities will also be tapped for industrial and agricultural purposes, wherever they are sited for water as well as power.

In Gaza, thorough reconstruction is a top world priority. The map indicates a desalination unit on the coast. A major seaport is also in order, backed up by a hinterland of thriving industrial and agricultural infrastructure. Another priority is the reconstruction of a world-class facility for the Yasser Arafat International Airport, inaugurated in 1998, but bulldozed by Israel in 2002.

Not shown on the map but implied are the transportation arteries to be constructed across the entire region. A high-speed rail network will reconnect Palestine (including Gaza) and Israel to their immediate neighbors, with connection to the Belt and Road Initiative corridors transiting the three-continent region of Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Conditionalities. It goes without saying, that Israel relinquishes exclusive control over water resources, in favor of a fair resource-sharing agreement among all nations in the region. This will be made more possible with the dramatic increase in available water resources as envisioned in the Oasis Plan. The policy of illegal settlements in the West Bank shall be halted. Settlers will be offered incentives to relocate to the Negev, where they, in a shared effort with the Bedouins, Palestinians, and others, can take up productive jobs and make the desert bloom.

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