The water crisis is expected to get much worse before it gets better. Six years
of little rain are stressing resources to the limit.
Having cut back
water allotments for agriculture and public gardening, the Water Authority has
begun to focus its PR efforts on the household sector.
One group of
Ra’anana-based Anglos sees an enormous potential there and has just launched the
new water conservation solutions company GabiH2O.
These olim, some
recent, some not, have made it their mission to help families save water easily
and amusingly – by combining a water-saving kit with an educational campaign of
clever cartoon characters who deliver their message through wordplay and pop
The GabiH2O message is simple: Anyone can save water. Moreover,
saving water means saving money and energy.
The kit includes: a
showerhead that reduces the amount of water used without compromising on water
pressure; two water aerators for faucets; one swivel aerator with a
water-pausing on/off switch for the kitchen sink; a toilet tank bag to reduce
the amount of water used when flushing; a foldable, waterproof bucket for
collecting cold water as you wait for the hot water in the shower to kick in; a
shower timer to “beat the clock” and take the quickest showers possible; and,
finally, leak detection tablets and tips.
The entire kit comes in a box
made of reusable, recycled paper with soy-based ink, and is selling for NIS 250
plus VAT. Ten percent of the profits will go to charity.
The kit might
not seem like a major water-saving tool at first glance, but looks can be
deceiving. The average Israeli uses 165 liters per day. That’s broken down into
the very uses the water-saving kit looks to address.
According to Water
Authority numbers, flushing the toilet uses 60 liters per day; drinking, cooking
and dishwashing – 30 liters; bathing – 60 liters; laundry and cleaning – 8
liters; and gardening another 8 liters.
By using the kit, a family of
four could save 200 liters a day, the company has calculated.
shorter showers alone would produce significant savings, Water Authority
spokesman Uri Schor pointed out to The Jerusalem Post this week.
all of the items in the water-saving kit are proven conservation
Toilet tank bags and similar devices are somewhat controversial,
as at least one Health Ministry official said at a Knesset committee hearing
that the toilets are already calibrated to use just enough water to rinse them
out so germs do not build up.
However, GabiH2O founder Avi Djanogly told
the Post that such bags were being distributed in the US and UK to encourage
“There are some toilets that will not operate with less
than the manufactured volume in the toilet system.
These are newer
toilets,” he wrote via e-mail.
“We have done extensive tests on multiple
toilets in Israel and have found no issue using our bag. Furthermore, our bags
are anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal and have been approved and certified by the
EPA in the United States and Waterwise in the UK. These countries have rigorous
testing procedures with regard to safety but have authorized and indeed
recommended the cistern bag.
“Indeed many of the utility companies in the
USA and UK send displacement bags out to their customers in an active attempt to
promote water conservation. The toilet uses over 35% of the water that comes
into our house, and we want to try and encourage people to save water,” he
GabiH2O is the brainchild of a team led by founder Djanogly – a
former antique dealer in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood. Djanogly made aliya
to Ra’anana with his family a couple of years ago.
“I was shocked at how
far the Kinneret had receded since I had last seen it 30 years ago on a teen
tour. So I decided to do something about it! Hence the GabiH2O water-saving kit
idea was born,” he said.
CEO Jeremy Broder “qualified as a plumbing and
heating engineer in the UK back in the early 80s, ran a business there and then
followed my dream to come and live in Israel in ’92, where I met my wife and had
four great kids.
In 2002, I had the opportunity to retrain in the USA,
where I attained the position of VP of operations at a $1.5 billion apparel
company. I returned home (Israel, of course) in 2008. As the CEO of GabiH2O, I
hope to help save the precious water we all take for granted.”
Bean (the Green Bean) is a plumber from South Africa who made aliya in 1993. For
years, he has been into water conservation.
Brandon has been able to
apply his practical skills to the Gabi message, saying, “You don’t have to be a
plumber to be an expert in saving water.”
Jehuda Saar grew up in Belgium
and lived in the US and UK before making aliya in 2006. A veteran of the steel
recycling business, Saar is also an audio and video editing producer for the
comics and cartoons.
Not content to offer technical solutions for water
savings, GabiH2O is intent on reaching out and changing people’s mindsets
through education as well.
Their preferred tool: a cartoon camel named
Gabi with a backstory dating to Abraham and a number of cleverly named
Gabi was one of Abraham’s camels, so the story goes, and was
entrusted with the secrets of water preservation along with Abraham’s other
For centuries, they kept the lore alive and hidden around an
oasis. But Gabi believes it’s time to share it with the world.
joined by a cast of characters including “Hugh Stoomutch – he doesn’t mean to
use too much, he just doesn’t know better; Terri Belle Waist – lovely teen –
Very fashion conscience, but oh so wasteful; Dame Eve N. Moorewater – English
grand dame – Thinks the rules don’t apply to her; and Prof. Ligate – mad
professor always inventing huge impractical water-saving devices,” according to
Gabi and his friends will appear in a cartoon strip on the
company’s website every week, Djanogly told the Post, where there will also be
games, contests, water-saving tips and other ways to draw people in and create a
mentality of savings first.
“Our ethos is that we are not aiming at
changing the world. We are aiming at trying to change ourselves and our
behavior. If we do that the world around us will change. Small beginnings lead
to great ends,” Djanogly said.
“We don’t believe in restricting water
use. We believe in just using water more wisely and taking steps to maximize
what we do use to best effect,” he said.
A major superstore in Israel has
already saved thousands of shekels by installing the GabiH2O’s devices,
according to documentation provided by the company.
GabiH2O is also
working on its own inventions to enable more control by developing an adjustable
flow water-saving device for faucets. They are also working on a way to reduce
toilet flushing by 80% and cut 20% off the water bill.
Kits can be
ordered at 1- 700-500-426.