In January 2017 Maryland Environmental Law Program Director Robert Percival will travel to the Middle East with a multidisciplinary group of Maryland students to explore how to assist off-grid communities in improving water and energy use. Funded by a grant from the UMB Center for Global Education Initiatives, the group will work with scientists from the Arava Institute of Environmental Students (AIES), based in the Negev desert of southeastern Israel.
The project builds on previous trips to the Middle East in 2013 and 2015 where students analyzed the feasibility of small-scale, greywater recycling projects. The 2017 trip will analyze how solar energy can be used to reduce the cost of irrigation in off-grid agricultural communities. The law students will collaborate with students from Maryland’s Smith School of Business and other schools to assess how to develop a sound model for more efficient energy and water use in such communities.