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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 24, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta ---------------------------------------Thundny, Februory 24, 1972 THE ICTHBRIDGE HERALD _ 5 Eva Rrewslrr A look at Israe 's irrigation system CARfD, Israel Israel, not long ago, was Jill deserl, but it had not always been so. NoL only do excerpts from the Bible (sec Kings and Chronicle refer lo early endeavors lo supply water lo Hie cily o[ David. In 1880, a stone plaque discovered inside the tunnel lo Slnloah on which was commemorated, in anciet Hebrew script, lire mo- ment workers cutting the tun- net from oposile directions, met half-way. Tliis tunnel 503 ycards long, was cut through solid rock and completed around 700 B.C. at the order of Hczckiah, King ot Judea, who reigned from 727 to d'M B.C. To Ihis day waler flows through the tunnel al- though the walls of Jerusalem are no longer where they were, 2.G70 years ago. Today it serves the population of the Arab vil- lage of Silwan (the Arab ver- A small section of the national waler carrier in 1he Judean hills. sion of the ancient Hebrew name: Then as now, water was the first essential for existence and survival. Neglected for cen- turies by succeeding cultures and occupations, (he necessity of irrigation projects was never again seriously considered un- lil modern Israel, facing llio challenge of the desert, created new watering schemes. Of these, the National Water Car- rier is probably the greatest and most ambitious. It has bscn in operation since IMS and its main purpose is to.con- duct water from the northern half of Israel into the arid, thirsty South. It pumps waler out of the Sea of Galilee, Israel's main water reservoir. The water flows southward through can- als and tunnels (some yards in diameter cars drove through them for original in- spection) mainly by gravita- tion. On its way, this abundant water supply fills two large re- servoirs and many smaller ones for its network distribu- tion, but by far the greatest amount is used for irrigation of the Negev, where rainfall is seldom sufficient for the culti- vation of crops. This year, areas still desert when I vis- them only 2'A years ago, are now green and bearing crops. The highway, built there during the Brilish occupation, still boasts the name "Hunger Boad" for it was originally de- signed lo give work and so ease Ihe misery and starvation of Eednuin tribes whose sheep died when not a drop of waler or a blade of grass could be found in the desert. Now, the same area has the highest pro- duction o[ grain per acre any- where in the world and has von international prizes to prove it. The National Water Carrier is a feat of. comparatively, low-cost engineering for it util- izes every natural and terri- torial advantage, every hill and valley and is so devised that even the greatest heat does not affect, to any great excnt, its precious contents. Even so, it Hie World's Leading International Beer for Black Label we blend .ind brew only llic finest ingredients...with patience...wilh brins; out all llicir llavour. Then we give (lie brew more lime, in our cool, quiet cellars so lhat Black Label slowly _ _ matures lo perfection. If you like a beer with llavour, try a Black Label ...enjoy the full flavour that is conquering thirsts all over the world. Carliii" Black 1 sold .ind enjoyed in over do countries around the nlobe. THE CARLING BREWERIES (ALBERTA) LIMITED UI-II-HJ required nine years and 2'i million working days lo com- plete. There are many smaller irri- gation projects throughout the country, all of which helped Is- rael's flourishing, dynamic ag- riculture and industry. One ot the most effective individual projects are the arlifical fish ponds. They provide, not only an ever increasing supply of very good fish for the Israeli table, Ihe canning faclories and export (including varieties found lo adapt easily from sea to sweet water fish, for exam- ple the "Grey but also, in many places, water for thirsty crops. In Hasorea, for instance, a Kibbutz in the Jez- reel valley, south of and just below Mount Carmel, one of their fish ponds, in rotation, is always being cleaned out and emptied lo benefit the neigh- boring cotton crops. "Who pays for installation and water''" f asked in a simi- lar settlement where the ponds help to water fields belonging lo individually owned farms. "Good said my guide. "We worked on this thorny problem for some years and have now come, arbitrar- ily, lo an agreement: Whoever earns more from their crops in any given season, fools Ihe bill. There are times when cotlon fetches such high prices that our poor tish can't compete. At oili- er times, our neighbors have such high overhead for seeds, fertilizers, new mechanical equipment or due lo some mis- fortune lhat we, one of tho wealthier Kibbutzim, earn more with our fish or simply cut our losses and pay. We have never quarelled and, com- paring notes and balanco sheets at the end of the finan- cial year, both we and our neighbors have learned lo counl our blessings.'' The government, of course, lielps with the original installa- tion, advances money at low or no interest rate for the stock- ing of fish ponds where neces- sary. In the case of a Kibbutz like Ilasorea, of course, such help is not usually required, They own other industries, such as a furniture factory, plastic works etc. They also ex- port roses and can well altord lo finance their own ventures from profits in other fields as well as being generous to Ihcir neighbors. Another, nour well tried pro- jecl, arc the high, man-made dunes along part of the coasl road bcwicen Haifa and Tel Aviv. These dunes, effectively, catch much ot the heavy, west- ward blowing winter rains in large reservoirs and prevent rainwater from running off into the sea. Works, de-salting seawater, are operating in Eiladi and oth- er slalions in the south and aro expected to be vastly increased in number and efficiency when the tremendous amount of pow- er required for their operation will be boosted by almnic power stations in five or six years lime. Effluent is already being treated, cleaned and re circu- laled in some of the larger ci- ties providing all the waler re- quired and this is, I am told, as healthy and germ free as any clear mountain well any- in the world. I foresee two questions arising from Iliis article: "Is there any connection between a water project, completed 27 centuries ago, and those com- pleted in our And "could such development in a tiny middle-eastern country, thousands of miles away, pos- sibly be of interest lo us in Both could be answered sim- ply: Yes, because such efforls arc part of a continuous, posi- tive human endeavor the struggle for survival. As such they are interesting, but, to end on a more practical nole: The semi-arid areas ol our prairies, such as central and southern Alberta might well benefit from similar schemes, if not a "Na- tional Waler at least the idea of fish ponds lo help our ecology, economy and ag- ricultural irrigalion problems. GAVL A rather grand larceny The New York Times TVOT SINCE THE Merry Pranks of Till Eulenspiegel has rascality won as wide and eager an audience as UK alleged deeds of Clifford Irving. There is an added liveliness, even a certain gaiety, in the conversation of dinner guests and literate barflies since the charges first surfaced concerning the obscure writer from Ibiza who sold Life magazine and McGraw-Hill, Inc., an "autobiography" of the recluse Hmvard Hughes. No doubt the very nature of Ihe vol- ume's subject stimulated advance interest interest intensified when Mr. Hughes, or reasonable facsimile thereof, disavowed Uic work at a telephonic news conference. But that gentleman has long since teen displaced in the public mind by Mr. Irving himself, not lo mention his atlrac- tive wife and the several ladies who turn- ed up in the exotic places he visited in the course of his labor.'. Mystery, a touch of scandal aud Hie strong possibility of crime these would be enough lo account for a fair share of public interest. But what may well have sent the case skyrocketing was the nos- talgic sense it conveyed of a simpler and more innocent day, when crime could be absorbing willwul having to be violent; fascinating without doing irreparable harm except perhaps lo the sensibilities ol (lie victim, and, above all, perplexing without being insoluble. After endless and fruitless preoccupation with such seeming- ly unsolvable problems as Viclnam, tho Middle East and Uic like, there was some- thing cheerful about an intriguing puzzle that was certain to be unraveled in (ia end. None of this is lo say thai if B boas has been committed, tlie hoaxers should escape paying (Jie price; that grand lar- ceny, mail fraud, forgery and other assort- ed offenses should go unpunished. But the zest with which this highly publicized case is being pursued on all le-gal (not lo men- tion journalistic) fronts seems excessive tthon the jails are overflowing with ob- scure defendants availing their day in cowl. Can a city many months behind on its criminal calendar really spare six assis- tant district allomeys to probe the Irving case wlien federal prosecutors, similarly bard at work, will in any event lake prior- Influence of affluence The Toronto Globe and Mail WflSDOM does not necessarily come with old age or even experience, al- though each may have played its part in bringing 77-year old labor leader George Meany to a reappraisal of the strike as a means of achieving a labor objective. When the man acknowledged to be the leading spokesman for organized labor in Uie Uniled Stales, the man wlro leads 16 million members of UK AFL CIO, declares that strikes no longer make sense and should be eliminated, one has the dis- tinct feeling that an important corner has been turned. Perhaps it is a long, steady curve in the road rather than a corner, for Uiere have been instances in recent years when Mr. Meany's awareness of the masochistic nature of the strike weapon flickered through the traditionally militant posture of labor leadership. In August, for example, Mr. Meany was talking about "people who are constantly worrying about the lack of mili- tancy on the part of His comment was that labor "to some extent has be- come middle class. When you have no prop- erty, you don't have anything; you have nothing lo lose by these radical actions. But when you become a person you be- come conservative And I would say, to that extent, labor has become conserva- tive." Jn other words. Ihe average union mem- Ijer's stake in the community has risen over the years to the point where the strike is a double-edged sword. The sUiker has more to lose than in Ibe lean and hungry days of Ibe labor movement. With this in mind, it is perhaps less than startling to hear Mr Mcany urge the eli- minalion of strikes and express favor for Ihe alternative of binding arbitration, vol- untarily agreed upon. Organized labor has evidently not yet caught up with the pres- ident of Ihe AFL-CIO, tor not a single contract in recent years has gone to vol- untary arbitration wlrile there have been strikes in many big indrustrics. But there may be light at the end ot the tunnel, now that a committee ot Mr. Meany's massive organization is working lo find a formula where binding arbitra- tion would become more or less accepted practice. He seems to concede that chang- ing times rather than enlightenment are responsible for the new line: "Years ago yon put people on strike who were making 50 cents an hour. You could go begging and you could get food. You could keep them going. But now the workers have a little home; they may have a couple of kids going to college. You put. them on strike, Ihey're overboard williin a week. So we would like to eliminate strikes just on that basis alone.'' One might have hoped for at least a sniaU nod in (lie direction of Llie (hicd- parly innocents v.ho almost always aro mangled in the course of a strike, but any acknowledgment of the blind folly of most strikes today Ls encouraging. We wish Canadian union leaders seemed a Hlllc more anxious lo join Mr. Meany on this pinnacle of perception. ERIC NICOL CANADA'S record in the 1972 Whiter Olym- pics proves once again that we show our best form in beating our breast. At cross-country soul-searching, we take the gold. Right now our amateur officials are out- distancing the Russian skiers, jumping to conclusions. One of the more of Ihese leaps is that instead of letting Ca- nadian athletes develop any old which w ay, as they have in the past, Uie federal gov- ernment slwuld subsidize an elite in each providing the select few with coach- ing and facilities for 12 months of the year so lhat the speed skaters need never leave the ice. Uic bobslcdders call cat, drink and sleep slope. Tire emphasis would Uien be taken off helping as many people as possible to en- joy the sports they participate in for the pleasure of the activity, and would be put on training a crack corps of athletes to be moil competitive in international ev- ents such as (he Olympic Games. Instead of winning only one silver, as Canada did in the just-concluded games, she might win two or Ihree silver medals, a half dozen bronze, perhaps another gold medal lo keep Nancy's company. The question that arises from this re- vised approach lo government siibsidiza- limi of iiKirls is; Which is heallhicr lo have as many persons as possible faking ;iarl in sports for tun, or to improve Ihe physique of our trophy cases? Possibly I he elitist would be in addition to Ihe aid lo the mass of perpetual duffers. But there would still he a subllc shift in Ihe philosophy of sporting endeav- or, il seems lo me. I'd ask: aside from bolslcring Ibe national ego. in what way docs winning aoi Olympic medal heighten n enjoyment of participating in sporls? If we win enough medals we may be able lo build them into a piece of weight-lift- ing equipment. Or a truly hard-uu discus tlu-ou'cr might he glad ia have something belter lo loss than our basic couilap. But medal-winning, in terms of lo mind and body, hardly justifies the effort and expense of exclusive activily. 1 have won three medals Lfacock medals and I am still in lousy condition. The medals have done nothing for wisd or pectorals. They don't slimulatc me to phys- ical action unless I drop one on my toe. What have their Olympic medals done for the Russians, as a people? If medal- winning is good Hie general populace, tlie Russians should be the fittest nation on earth ivilh the Americans a close second. In actual fact the average citizen of both countries doesn't quality to compete wilh Ihe native of tiny Tonga. R.ather than become terribly uptight about Canada's performance in Ihe Olym- pic Games, and create an elitist cult of athletes whoso cnlire being is geared lo winning medals, perhaps should refer lo the Merriam-Wcbster definition o[ ama- teur: "One who engages in a pursuit, science or sport as a pastime rather than as a profc.-.siou." A pastime. That is ulia! amateur sport should be. It the Olympic (lames arc in fact Ihe contest of profession Is masquer- ading as amateurs, then thai is the fault of the games, not of Canada, and Cana- dian government support of our Olympic loams should come from the Canadian Dc- velopmcnl Corporation. In which event I'll fii'si in line to buv 60 shares of Karen Xlagmissen. (Vancouver Province 1'pnlure.O Tlie crucial question Jly Dong Wnlhrr were watching a TV slww one night Klspclli addod a footnote. She said our recently when an obviously hitler lull it la me! woman commented lhat she could serve her family lioilcd overshoes willioul any of Uwm noticing. jf any onions in the preparation. ;