Ronald Lauder and Eitan Dery.
(photo credit: Ezra Levy)
The entrepreneurship and problem-solving expertise evident in so much of Israeli
water technology can serve as a critical tool for diplomacy, Jewish- American
philanthropist and businessman Ronald Lauder said in Tel Aviv on
“Israel is known throughout the world as a place with great
technology, but when we go to another country solving their water problems, it’s
the best public diplomacy,” Lauder told a group of journalists at the WATEC
water technologies exhibition.
Lauder spoke from the booth of Karmiel
waste-water treatment firm Nirosoft – a subsidiary of Lauder’s group RWL Water –
where he announced the larger company’s acquisition of Italianbased Eurotec WTT,
a manufacturer of waste-water treatment systems that converts waste into usable
After gradually increasing his investment in Nirosoft to
100-percent ownership of the company, Lauder established RWL in 2010 and later
acquired Minnesota-based Aeromix, which provides aeration equipment for drinking
water and sewage treatment systems.
“About 10 years ago I realized that
water would be the oil of the 21st century and that one could live without oil
but one could not live without water,” Lauder told The Jerusalem Post after the
press conference. “The fact is that Israel is known worldwide as a place with
great water technology.”
By buying Eurotec, Lauder hopes to have
increased access to small and medium-sized clients that need water treatment
mechanisms, but on a smaller scale than large companies provide.
the reasons RWL exists is to provide water to everybody,” said RWL’s CEO Henry
Charrabe, who stressed the importance of making small mobile sewage treatment
units more readily available and affordable.
RWL will soon be expanding
to six more countries, including Mexico, Colombia and Chile, where there is a
huge market for water technologies, according to Lauder and
“Israel can help a great many underdeveloped countries and this
is part of diplomacy,” Lauder told the Post. The image of Israel as a tech
leader that is helping these countries develop their water systems is a very
good one, he said.
A long-time advocate for Israel, Lauder opined that
the government must make certain changes to speed up the building of mechanisms
such as desalination plants, so that the country can more quickly ensure it has
an ample supply of water.
“The interesting thing that people don’t
realize is that Israel is exporting huge quantities of water – not as water but
as oranges and different agricultural products,” he said. Israel is experiencing
major water problems, but it has significant water resources such as the
Mediterranean and water under the Negev, and it’s not taking advantage of them,
“There are many things that can be done in Israel to make
sure it’s a place with water,” he said.