The Calanques: A Hidden Source of Freshwater?

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Student reporters Sharon Muli and Marissa Rosen arrived in Marseille early for the World Water Forum 6 and visited the nearby town of Cassis.

We initially intended simply to explore the natural beauty of the calanques, where cliffs meet clear blue lagoons on the western point of the French Riviera.   We soon learned about the region’s freshwater after being approached by Anthony Solari who offered to be our English translator for the French-only tour. Once the boat departed from the port, he explained the unique limestone rock features of the cliffs, the history of mining in this area, and the local efforts to extract drinking water.

The boat went by jubilant hikers and adventurers who were strolling along the cliffs and skimming rocks into the waters below them. We were jealous of the snorkelers who were relaxingly combing the surface of the waters and observing the sea-life underneath them.

When Anthony explained the historic connection between the calanques and the fresh water of Cassis, we were intrigued and spoke to him further.

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