Planning a Sustainable Future through Water Sensitive Cities.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The way we manage urban water shapes almost every aspect of our urban environment and quality of life. A Water Sensitive City is one where the journey of water through the urban landscape is managed with regard for its origins and destinations, along with its social and environmental significance. Water Sensitive Cities
adopt and combine water management solutions to deliver water security in both water-poor and water-abundant futures, to rehabilitate aquifers and urban streams, to improve urban climates and landscapes and reduce cities’ carbon footprints.
At the launching of the new Center for Water Sensitive Cities in Israel, which took place at the Geler Center in Kfar Saba, KKL-JNF Fundraising Director Ze’ev Kedem recalled how KKL-JNF’s connection with urban runoff began: “In 2008, we received a call from JNF Australia
to tell us that an Israeli research scientist who was studying the subject of water sensitive cities in Monash University in Melbourne was trying to decide whether to carry out a biofilter pilot project
in Israel or in Sweden. I spoke with Israel’s leading experts on water, and they were all of the opinion that this was a project that deserved KKL-JNF’s support. That is how it all began, and it continues to this day with the help of our friends from JNF Australia.”
Dr. Yaron Zinger introduced the research projects that were presented at the conference and spoke about the center’s goals in general. “A growing population means more and greater challenges. The more a city is built up, the less water is absorbed into the soil and the less water finds its way to the underground aquifer. We want to make urban runoff into a resource rather than a problem. The biofilter is local, but its potential is national. The new center will provide a platform where industry, academia, and local and national planners will meet and envision the future from an interdisciplinary perspective. KKL-JNF demonstrated true leadership when it decided to adopt what was a very new idea at the time. This is what will make the change happen.”
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