Can Utah and Israel save Great Salt Lake and Dead Sea? | Opinion

Gov. Spencer Cox talks with Israel’s President Herzog in Israel on Sept. 11, 2022. Cox and other Utah leaders are on a trade mission to Israel and United Arab Emirates.

Natalie Gochnour

Editor’s Note: Natalie Gochnour, David Eccles School of Business Associate Dean and Deseret News contributor, traveled with a delegation of business and community leaders on a trade mission led by the World Trade Center Utah to Israel and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Here is an insider’s look at what occurred on the trade mission in the second of a six-part series.

The Utah trade delegation to Israel and the United Arab Emirates spent their first full day on the ground visiting holy sites in and around Jerusalem and adjusting to the nine-hour time difference. Visits included the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the old city of Jerusalem.

The real work of the trade mission began on Day 2. Gov. Spencer Cox, Utah Senate President Stuart Adams and Speaker Brad Wilson visited with Israeli president Isaac Herzog and had a separate meeting with Idan Roll, deputy minister of foreign affairs. Both meetings occurred on the 21st anniversary of September 11, a meaningful backdrop for diplomatic discussions in any part of the world.

Learning from shared problems

The discussions with Herzog were both practical and theoretical. The two leaders compared notes on water management and the related shrinking of the Dead Sea and Great Salt Lake. “The commonalities between this country and our state are legion,” said Cox. “We discussed the diminishing water levels of our two inland salty seas. I sought his feedback on what we can learn from Israel’s world-leading water management practices.” 

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Perspective: The tragedy of the Great Salt Lake commons

On the theoretical side, the leaders discussed the troubling division present in our world. “President Herzog expressed concern about the U.S. and how divided we are,” said Cox when asked about the meeting. “Israel counts on the U.S. to remain a leader among nations. We can’t lead if we can’t get along.”

Leaders from Utah’s Unified Economic Opportunity Commission met …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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