Energy, Water Minister Uzi Landau at press conference_390.
(photo credit: Gidon Sharon)
Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau will head to the Mediterranean coastal city
of Marseilles, France, on Monday to take part in the Sixth World Water Forum,
where he will chair a high-level intergovernmental session on wastewater
management the following day.
The Sixth World Water Forum, with this
year’s theme being “Time for Solutions,” will take place from March 12 through
17, following the fifth such forum that occurred in Istanbul in 2009. Held every
three years since 1997, the forum aims to “mobilize creativity, innovation,
competence and know-how in favor of water” by bringing together industry
stakeholders from around the globe, according to its organizers. The sixth forum
will particularly focus on making water a higher priority on countries’
The forum is organized by the International Forum
Committee, run by Prof. Benedito Braga, and brings together the World Water
Council – financed by international membership fees and support from the city of
Marseilles – and the French National Committee. More than 180 countries will
attend this year’s forum, with over 25,000 participants and 140 ministerial
delegations in total, according to the forum.
Landau will co-chair a
roundtable on wastewater management on Tuesday morning alongside Singaporean
Environment and Water Resources Minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan.
participants will also include the Prince of Orange, Willem-Alexander, who also
serves as the chair of the United Nation’s Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on
Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB), as well as Israel Water Authority head Alex
Kushnir, Singapore’s Public Utilities Board chief executive Chew Men Leong and
government delegates from other countries.
During the session, Landau and
Balakrishnan will address topics of water recycling and restoration, and
representatives from various nations will present the status of wastewater
management and reuse modes in their countries, as well as the individual
obstacles that they face, according to the Energy and Water Ministry.
Participants from 16 nongovernmental organizations, including Israel’s national
water company Mekorot, will also respond to key questions about water
The session will conclude with a special Israel presentation
about agriculture and a Singaporean talk on urban water management
“Israel is pioneering in the fields of water technology,
conservation, proper management of the resource and efficient and maximum use,”
Landau said in a statement released by his office.
“We have pride in
this, and we have much to offer. We are considered the leaders in the world in
terms of wastewater treatment, and about 93 percent of Israeli wastewater is
treated, with about 80% of it restored for reuse. We intend to present at the
conference the revolution that has passed through Israel in recent years and to
challenge the member countries at the forum to double sewage treatment by the
During the water forum, Landau will also meet with Antoine
Ferot, president of French transportation company VEOLIA, as well as other
leading global figures in the water industry, the ministry said. He will
inaugurate the Israeli pavilion assembled by the Foreign Ministry at the forum’s
exhibition center, will attend business meetings between Israeli and French
innovators and will host an event for the Jewish community of
“We will offer Israeli expertise toward improving the water
markets of countries around the world, with the goal of opening more and more
doors for Israeli companies to create relationships with foreign companies and
implement international projects,” Landau said.
Following the forum,
Landau will also head to Paris to meet with France Electricity CEO Henri
Proglio, according to the ministry. While in France, Landau also expects to fly
to Strasbourg to meet with European Commission for Energy Issues Gunther
Oettinger, as well as European Parliament chairman of the Foreign Committee
Elmar Brok and European Parliament chairman for Industry, Research and Energy
In addition to Landau’s roundtable, many other sessions
throughout the week are relevant to Israel, including one panel entitled,
“Cooperation on Data Collection on Water Resources for Israelis, Palestinians
Other pertinent sessions include those on desalination
in Gaza, groundwater and climate change in Mediterranean coastal aquifers, the
use of non-conventional water resources in the Mediterranean, green growth in the
Mediterranean and environmental changes in the region.