For years, Israel has been utilizing its innovative spirit to help solve the world's greatest challenges. Around the world, Israeli technologies are used to address humanitarian crises and to promote community development.
In Gaza, the Israeli company Watergen launched on Wednesday a pilot project, in the neighborhood of Abasan al-Kabira, to provide a solution for Gazan's urgent need for accessible clean water.
At the moment, Gaza's main source of water is from a coastal aquifer. Its supply of water has been depleting over the last few decades due to over-extraction. As a result of water pollution, over 90% of water from the aquifer is unfit for consumption. Gazans are therefore left to rely on very expensive options to access water.
Watergen's solution is simple: Producing clean and fresh-drinking water out of air, through an atmospheric water generator (AWG).
The GEN-M machine can produce up to 800 liters of water per day and only requires electricity to work. It is also equipped with solar panels to provide the machine with another, sustainable, source of power.
The machine uses the humidity existing in the air: the air processed by the machine is cooled, creating water. The water then goes through physical, chemical and biological treatments followed by a mineralization process to maintain its cleanliness, taste and healthy quality.
For the pilot, GEN-M has been set up in Abasan al-Kabira's municipal building.
The pilot is a cooperative efforts between Watergen, Israel’s Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, the Palestinian NGO Damour for Community Development and the Abasan al-Kabira municipality.
“Responding in accordance with our belief that every human being, regardless of race, gender or religion has a fundamental right to clean drinking water, we are helping some of Israel’s next-door neighbors gain access to freshwater, a resource that is lacking in Gaza," said Watergen in a press release. "We hope that our provision of an AWG will help solve the water crisis and serve as a step forward towards mutual collaboration in the Middle East.”
“The introduction of Watergen into Gaza is not only a proof of concept for a cutting edge technology but a proof of concept that Palestinians and Israelis can do more than launch attacks at each other," said David Lehrer, Director of the Arava Institute. "We can, instead, work together to improve lives, solve humanitarian problems, build trust and restore hope.”
The Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) to the Gaza Strip oversaw the transportation of the GEN-M into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing. CLA said the shipment is part of a policy that seeks to prevent any further deterioration of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza for its lack of water.