Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Danny Danon, Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Noa Furman and the panelists from the “Israel: Water Solutions” forum at the UN.
(photo credit: ISRAEL AT THE UN)
LOS ANGELES - A special forum presenting the latest water solutions from the public and private sectors in Israel was hosted by Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon on Thursday to mark International Water Day.
The event, organized by Israel’s Mission to the UN and MASHAV - Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation, presented examples of Israeli water technology used in more than 100 countries around the world.
“We are proud that Israel provides the world with cutting-edge innovations for integrated water management,” Danon said in his opening remarks.
“We have an opportunity and a responsibility to guarantee water security for everyone,” he added.
The International Water Day forum is an annual event marked by the UN as a call to action to battle water insecurity that affects an estimated 40% of the world’s population.
"More than 2 billion people lack access to safe water, and more than 4.5 billion people lack adequate sanitation services," Secretary General Antonio Guterres said at the launch of the event.
"By 2050 at least one in four people will live in a country where the lack of fresh water is chronic or recurrent," Guterres added.
The UN chief also noted that 80% of wastewater is dumped without being treated, and 90% of disasters are water-related.
Panelists presenting at the forum included Yehuda Kaploun, President of Watergen USA, Mino Negrin, Founder and CEO of NUFilteration Ltd., Mr. Raanan Adin, Chairman of the Israel Water Association, and Dr. Uri Yermiyahu, a senior researcher at the Agricultural Research Organization.
Among the technologies presented included innovations that generate water from air and a device that produces pure drinking water from contaminated sources in difficult conditions.
The main host of the World Water Day events at the UN was the Mission of the Netherlands, where Special Water Envoy Henk Ovink was invited to speak about how his country is tackling water issues in Europe and beyond.
"Worldwide, water is the connecting issue, the number one global risk and the opportunity for comprehensive cultural change," Ovink said.
Towards the end of the annual gathering, an interactive display created by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde, titled "Waterlicht," showed a virtual flood projected onto the UN plaza using lights and video.