While Israel is already by far the global leader in wastewater recycling, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) is determined to see the country re-use nearly all of its sewage in the years to come as its population continues to expand from north to south.
For the past 20 years, JNF has been working alongside Israel to support a variety of projects to retain, enhance and purify Israel’s water system.
If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a coalition of willing partners to get a water innovation project off the ground, Dr. Morton Mower, chair of JNF’s National Water Task Force, explained.
“The government doesn’t have enough money to do everything and that’s where JNF comes in,” he said, citing the $30 million Shamir Drilling project near the Golan Heights as an example of such an endeavour.
Ahead of the upcoming United Nations World Water Day on March 22, JNF has both near and long-term visions for Israel’s wastewater treatment, river rehabilitation, water reservoir, irrigation and water education activities.
One such project for 2017 is a water reclamation and recycling program at the Bedouin community of Um Batin in the Negev desert. JNF plans to connect Bedouin households to on-site wastewater treatment and reuse systems to minimize environmental and public health risks, while providing high-quality wastewater for the community’s irrigation needs.
An additional water project on the horizon for JNF in 2017 is the Arava Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will collect sewage from six kibbutzim and dairy farms in the Eilot Regional Council, situated just north of Eilat. The treated effluent will be pumped to JNF’s existing Elifaz Reservoir, which provides water for agricultural use to ten area kibbutzim.
Also, the water levels of the Dead Sea and Jordan River are dropping at an alarming rate and can only be solved if the three parties involved – Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority – are able to reach some sort of diplomatic agreement regarding this trans-boundary water issue.Thursday, March 23, 2017