(photo credit: Ronit Svirsky, KKL-JNF)
To protect water systems from both their own aging infrastructure and external
“malevolent events,” countries must integrate advanced water monitoring systems
into their infrastructure – an American water management expert said.
expert, Jeffrey Rosen – a Massachusetts- based environmental informational
specialist and senior scientist/statistician at Tetra Tech – has been
responsible for conducting informational processing and managing water systems
for years. Rosen has been in Israel for a week touring the country’s water sites
and speaking at a conference on Wednesday sponsored by the local company
Whitewater, a data monitoring and analytics firm for water
Using advanced informational systems in water
infrastructure can allow for early detection of bad chemical concentrations,
problems with system pressure or potentially broken pipes, Rosen
“These systems help us correlate customer complaints like ‘my
water doesn’t smell right,’” he said. Such technological precautions can oversee
aging infrastructure and ensure that purposely injected chemicals like chlorine
are being pumped fast enough and are flowing in proper quantities.
only can employing advanced informational systems protect a water system from
age and routine glitches, they can also help prevent what Rosen calls
“malevolent events” – incidents that have been increasingly worrying water
professionals since September 11, 2001.
“On the rare occasion when there
is an attack on the system, these systems can help us identify that something is
wrong,” Rosen said. “I’m talking about attacks on water quality, and also
attacks on the physical infrastructure.”
If water were to suddenly stop
being delivered and people panicked, serious problems could occur both locally
“We still need to be vigilant about it,” Rosen said.
“We’re making great headway in the ability of sensors and in our ability to
process the data, and our ability to know when problems need to be
While the technology for monitoring water systems and
ensuring rapid responses is certainly available, countries must begin employing
these innovations, Rosen stressed.
There are risks associated with
hackers infiltrating such advanced computerized systems, but far less than a
decade ago, as entrepreneurs have made the technologies extremely secure,
according to Rosen.
“Water really needs to step up into a new level,” he
Whitewater, which Rosen acknowledged he often works with on his
international projects, is one such company innovating these
“Israel is bringing lots of security technology on the one
hand and an understanding of water on the other hand, as well as the needs of
utilities to protect their assets and quality of water,” said Issey Ende, chief
business officer of the quality and security division of Whitewater.
both Israel and the United States, employing such technologies for monitoring
every inch of their water systems is crucial, Rosen stressed.
need for vigilance as there is a need for everything that Israel does,” he said.
“The water systems are just another example.” That being said, Israel thus far
is in a very good place in terms of its water infrastructural management, in
“Israel is definitely in the right direction,” he said.
“[It] is probably more in the right direction than any other country in the
world.” While touring the country’s water sites, Rosen said he was impressed by
new and innovative tests for microbiological contaminants, as well as the
monitoring and data integration that he witnessed.
“It’s remarkable, the
growth that I see in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv from when I was here six years ago,”
Traveling around the country, Rosen said he felt that “a new
movement” in water had taken root here that certainly rivaled that of the United
States. Cooperation between the two countries would be vital to moving forward,
as both need the same types of solutions, he explained.
“I don’t need to
be in Israel to know that the Israeli water business is leading the world in
many ways,” Rosen said.
“You have technologies here that many [countries]
in the world copy and learn from.”