Survey finds 90% of Israelis are aware of water crisis and 70% willing to conserve

More than 90 percent of the Israeli public is aware of the country's water crisis, according to a Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) survey released Sunday. Moreover, more than 70% said they would be willing to conserve water. If all households conserved by 10%, it would amount to the equivalent of an entire desalination plant. The survey was carried out by the Geocartography Group to mark World Water Day, which falls on March 22 every year but which was celebrated in Israel on Sunday. The most oft-cited reason by respondents for the water crisis was lack of rainfall (51%), and the main causes for the crisis were lack of rainfall last winter (64%) and mishandling of the water market (24%). Falling water levels in Lake Kinneret and the aquifers was the main result of the crisis, according to the respondents (40%). Around 20% were concerned about its impact on nature and the country's wildlife. Less than 3% were concerned about being unable to water their private gardens. Over two thirds of those polled said they would be willing to install water saving devices on their faucets and 50% said they would be willing to pay for installation of the devices themselves. SPNI has been active in water conservation programs both from a legislative and a grassroots standpoint. SPNI helped craft legislation proposed last week to equip all public buildings with the water saving devices. The bill was proposed by Yohanan Plessner (Kadima), Gilad Erdan (Likud) and Dov Henin (Hadash). SPNI has also been a partner in a water conservation campaign in the north over the past year. In the participating communities, conservation rates have risen, according to the organization. For example, Katzrin has conserved 7 percent. Five hundred men and women were surveyed by telephone during the third week of March. The margin of error was 4.4%.