STOCKHOLM, Sweden --When Gedeon Dagan decided he wanted to leave communist Romania for Israel, he took the underground route -- by becoming an expert in groundwater. His expertise has paid off with winning this year's Stockholm Water Prize, a top scientific award.
Dagan, of Tel Aviv University, won the $150,000 prize for his work in applying probability theory to analyzing groundwater pollution. The work is of particular value to Israel, where water availability is a potentially explosive issue with the Palestinians.
``By providing rational tools, we can inject some kind of lucidity and rationality into the peace process,'' Dagan told The Associated Press. ``It's much easier for scientists and specialists to get some kind of positive dialogue than politicians apparently can do.''
By applying probability theory, analysts can take a small core sample of a given area's subsurface, then extrapolate with reasonable certainty how water and pollutants will move through it, he said.
Dagan said that as a teen-ager, he had decided he wanted to leave Romania for Israel and that he chose his field of study largely because he knew water engineering was a key issue for Israel. He emigrated in 1962. Dagan's prize is to be presented last month in connection with the annual Stockholm Water Symposium.
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