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In honor of World Water Day, Waterfronts Israel Water Alliance, on Wednesday presented its strategy to turn Israel into a "world water technology superpower."
"Israel is in a good opening position for handling the international opportunity," said Uri Yogev, chairman of the Alliance at the World Water Day conference held in Sde Boker. "The development of new technologies, alongside the growth of the water industry worldwide, will benefit the Israeli water market and create opportunities to develop an export-oriented industry."
The event, focused on wateroriented technology, was planned to coincide with the week-long, fourth World Water Forum being held in Mexico City, which closed Wednesday.
Waterfronts will work to integrate government policy to assist in realizing the growth potential of Israel's water sector; to turn Israel's water industry into a brand recognized worldwide; to establish international standards related to advanced water technologies; to expand the activity of the Mekorot state water company into world markets; to encourage academic research, industry research and development, and professional training related to water technology; and to encourage applied innovation in water infrastructures based on Israeli water technology.
Yogev estimated that within 10 years Israel's water industry would be exporting $10 billion, "and then Israel will be considered a world center of developing advanced water industries and technologies."
The global water market is estimated at about $360b. and grows by 7 percent to 8% each year, Yogev said, adding that about $240b. is being invested in water infrastructures, $80b. in water resource technology, and the rest in related services.
Within 15 years, the world's water shortage is predicted to total 35% of consumption, Yogev said.
"We plan our cities around water, we shower in water, we work with water, our body is 80% water, two-thirds of the earth is covered by water. The economies that we are building are making sure to reinforce viaducts to convey water. The products that we buy and sell are linked to the water market in some way or another. Our daily lives are constructed and defined by water .... Religions may have different ways of handling water, but they all identify the supreme value of water and its central place in human life," he said.
"Israel offers solutions for the ever-worsening world shortage in water and means of producing water, and is also creating business opportunities to leverage and develop the water sector in Israel and for Israel's economy as a whole," he added.
Waterfronts is a public-private partnership, established in September, that brings together Mekorot, water technology companies, start-ups and incubators, Israel's universities, venture capital firms and private investors, the Manufacturers Association of Israel and other professional associations.