“There's no magic solution for the water market,” said Barak Graber, Director of International Business & Assistant Chairman at Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, at the Global Investment Forum in Morocco.
“In Israel, our holistic approach consists of very supportive legislation, water pricing and water ownership, followed by a layer of long-term planning,” he explained. “The next layer is measuring and managing, then you implement technologies. I think they are coming to look for technology and they're learning about a holistic approach in water management.”
"To irrigate the same fields because of climate change, we need 50% more water in the future than today"Avraham Ben-Josef
Climate change threatens water supply
Avraham Ben-Josef, Vice President of Systems Engineering at Mekorot, broke it down in numbers. “To irrigate the same fields because of climate change, we need 50% more water in the future than today,” he said. “Israel is using all its natural water and we're producing new water so that in 2050, Israel will desalinate 2.2 billion cubic meters a year. Today, we use a little more than 85% of the affluent water. Using this water means that the same drop of water that was for domestic use, the first use, we use it a second time for agriculture and sometimes even a third time.”
He also said that the future may be a bit tougher when it comes to water. “Because of what we expect in the future, many epidemics, it'll mean tightening the threshold of our standards,” he added.
Israeli solutions for future water shortages
Nevertheless, Israel is the Start-Up Nation, and with that title come a few Israeli companies helping to lower water treatment costs while also providing key services. “First of all, there is the CQM company which disinfects the water without using any outside chemicals,” Avraham stated. “We don’t need the chemicals and so we save money. We have two companies which are called Tisar and Augury which feel the way the pumps and the engines are working, and if something is wrong, they feel it right away and we can repair it in no time and with much less money. We also have mathematical models in order to operate the system in the optimal way with minimum energy.”
This, on top of the up-and-coming integration of artificial intelligence in water treatment.