As countries all over the world are struggling to deal with water shortages and water scarcity, Israel provides a great example of how countries should manage their water infrastructure in the coming years. If we start to look around the world, water scarcity is no longer a rarity, it is becoming the rule. Israel is considered the world’s leader in water reuse since it recycles roughly 80% of its water, while the US on the other hand only recycles only 5% of its water. What makes Israel’s water management so remarkable is that there has been a water shortage In Israel and the Middle East for most of human history. It is remarkable that a country which is comprised 60% of desert terrain and whose population has increased tenfold since 1948 not only has sufficient water for itself but even has surplus water leftover and even exports this surplus water to its neighboring countries. Also, Israel even exports billions of dollars each year worth of peppers, melons. tomatoes and other water-intensive produce.
Israel requires roughly a billion cubic meters more water annually than is naturally provided. Israel benefited tremendously from the foresight and planning of its previous leaders, who knew that water will remain a critical issue for Israel in the years and decades to come. In the 1930s, British economists had predicted that all of Palestine, which includes today’s Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank, would have enough water to sustain only 2 million people. Today, this same area is now home to more than 12 million people. Many water experts attribute this success in large part to Israel’s visionary water planning and management from decades ago.
Another one of the keys to Israel’s water success has been its water stewardship. Israelis have become informed, and they are aware of just how serious water management is in their country. That is why household water purifiers are popular in Israel such as a berkey, or distillers. Israel knows that conservation efforts must be enacted if they want to ensure there is enough water to go around.
Innovation has also led to their ability to conserve water, and now many experts and scientists are calling on Israel to share the blueprint of their water conservation success with other countries facing a water shortage.
In addition to wastewater being used as a means of irrigation for the agricultural sector, Israel has also created a drip irrigation system with crop strains which provide larger yields with less water required. Deep well drilling is another strategy that has also been utilized in addition to multi-tiered water safety methods.
Many experts foresee the world’s water shortage problem as something that will not be resolved in the immediate future. It is only getting worse as temperatures and human populations globally continue to rise. Israel is already playing a large role in resolving these global water problems by sending their water experts to help struggling countries, selling its surplus water to neighboring countries, and exporting roughly $2.2 billion in water-related tech and expertise annually. Ultimately, it is everyone’s responsibility to help conserve more water, or else we’re going to see more suffering and malnutrition around the world.