Water consumption drops 7.5% in first six months of year

Mekorot says despite drop, "water crisis is still not behind us," announces plans to invest NIS 3b. to "change direction of water supply."

Desalination Plant 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Desalination Plant 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israelis used 7.5 percent less water during the first half of 2011, when compared to the same period last year, data released by the Mekorot national water company late last week showed.
“Despite the drop in water consumption, Mekorot affirms that the water crisis is still not behind us,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “The company welcomes the continuation of the trend in saving and sees itself as committed to handling the water market crisis on behalf of future generations.”
During January-June 2011, water consumption was 48.2 million cubic meters lower than during the same time last year, mostly attributable to heavier rains this year, which decreased the need for irrigation. Water use for agriculture fell by 37.2 million cubic meters – a decrease of 12.6% – in part caused by a significantly decreased consumption of freshwater, which fell by 23 million cubic meters, down 3% from last year.
Although Mekorot was pleased with the trends, the company said “it is worth pointing out that June 2011 was one of the coolest Junes in the past 25 years,” while June 2010 featured many days of heat wave.
In an effort to further reduce consumption, and in hopes that most of the country’s water will eventually come from the five desalination plants, Mekorot will invest more than NIS 3 billion in order to “change the direction of Israel’s water supply.
“Beginning in the year 2014, most Israelis will drink desalinated water,” the statement said. “The process will revolutionize the method of water management in Israel.”