Helping the Israeli water economy

Effluent reservoirs enable sewage water to be reclaimed and purified to a high standard for agricultural use.

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July 8, 2007 17:04
3 minute read.
Helping the Israeli water economy

david resovior 298. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Effluent reservoirs enable sewage water to be reclaimed and purified to a high standard for agricultural use. This reduces potable water consumption and prevents river pollution. The 193 Reservoirs from Metulla to Eilat, comprising 140 million cubic meters, established by KKL-JNF with the help of its Friends worldwide, represent an enormous contribution to Israel's national water economy. KKL-JNF principles for sustainable development and water-related projects

  • To combine development of water resources with recognition of the ecological fabric of the project's environment.
  • To involve local communities in the establishment of the project and in conserving the surrounding environment.
  • To use projects to provide recreational amenities and as a lever for economic development.
  • To create an independently functioning long-term water project that enhances the environment and improves the economic situation of the surrounding population.
  • To preserve the ecological fabric of the environment in which the installation is located by ensuring that no pollution or other damage results from its establishment or subsequent operation.
  • To make use of "green" technology when establishing sewage treatment and water purification plants. As KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler said at the inauguration ceremony for Beit Shean Reservoir: "KKL-JNF regards helping Israel's water economy as a national duty. Large tracts of farmland remain bare and unused because high-quality water is either unavailable or too expensive to make their cultivation financially viable. We are trying to change this situation and make Israel green and fertile. Farmers' fields are a no less important part of the landscape than forests or areas of natural beauty." Despite the recent heavy rains at the very height of the Israeli spring, this last winter has been one of the driest in recent years. The prolonged dry period at the beginning of the winter, together with the fact that the brief periods of rain were followed by long dry days, has reduced Israel's water reserves to a dangerous and concerning level. Mekorot CEO Ronen Wolfman, said, "Because of global warming, the State of Israel is going to face increasingly serious water problems. Salinization, combined with the drop in rainfall as a result of rising temperatures, will adversely affect about a quarter of Israel's water reserves. If the reservoirs don't fill up next winter, the State will be facing a serious problem." Mekorot's statistics for the months October 2006 - April 2007 show that precipitation in northern Israel from the start of the winter until mid-April was between 90% and 95% of its annual average. The Kinneret catchment basin received between 75% and 85% of its annual average, while the center and the south received between 80% and 100%. Even though these figures are those of an average winter, the uneven distribution of the precipitation meant that reservoirs did not fill up properly, and the amount of water collected over the course of the entire winter amounted to only 60% of the annual average. Pinchas Green, Director of the Kinneret Authority stated, "The quantity of rain that fell this winter in the Kinneret catchment basin amounted to about 85% of the annual average. In the course of the entire winter the level of water in the Kinneret rose by only 144 centimeters, reaching a maximum height of -211.06, which is 2.26 meters below the upper red line, on April 22, 2007. This is 39 centimeters lower than the maximum level at the end of last winter, on May 7th, 2006. "As a result, the Israel Water Authority's operating committee has recommended pumping only 220 million cubic meters from the Kinneret into the National Water Carrier this year. This level of extraction will reduce the level of the Kinneret to -212.40 by the end of October 2007. If next winter turns out to be dry, we shall have to return to the low Kinneret water levels of several years ago. I hope that this will not be the case." Sponsored content

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