Israel’s water supply is an enigma. The world is facing water problems, and a lot of this due to poor water systems, infrastructure issues and leaks. But there’s also the problem of a heating climate that’s causing water to dry up faster.
Israel, on the other hand, shouldn’t be as water solid as it is. Arid, the land is comprised of 60% desert, and despite Israel’s rapid growth since the late 1940s, water is still not an issue.
In ancient times, Jerusalem depended on underground cisterns and hidden wells to supply water.
Unground streams helped supply water, and water tunnels were tapped to keep residents hydrated. Water tunnels would later be built to bring water into Israel, but the ways of old wouldn’t keep up with today’s growing population.
California struggles with drought, Egypt struggles with drought, and both have used Israel as an example of what to do right.
Water management was a key focus of Israel rather than water waste. When economies grow, it’s common that water starts to be wasted. Less time is spent on water management because there’s not an immediate issue at hand.
The world’s growing population is now straining existing infrastructure, and leaking sewer systems are the norm.
Water wasted is ignored in favor of lower spending budgets.
California is a prime example of this. Water is always a problem in the hotter months, with water restrictions and drought becoming commonplace. The issue is swept under the rug. The greater good is often ignored, as the affluent continue to water their lawns and waste water.
So, what’s Israel’s secret?
A proactive approach to the water supply. Groundwater is used. Wells are used. Desalination is performed on a massive scale.
It’s all about being proactive.
But you also have the proactive approach of fixing leaking sewer and water lines early, detecting problems early and even discouraging gardening. Efficiency is a major priority with efficient toilets being mandatory in Israel.
Water is also priced to discourage waste from residents.
The entire water management system is efficient, and this means that the residents don’t have to scramble to save water in the same way that people living in California do. Israelis have been molded to save water and conserve knowing that waste is a bad thing.
Drip irrigation is also a major proponent of Israel’s water success. You see, the normal way of irrigating crops wastes water. Drip irrigation saves 25% – 75% more water than pumped irrigation.
Crop yields are also higher, but this leads to controversy, too.
The drip irrigation is seen as a potential water waster by some that assert if the crop yield is higher, the amount of water usage must be higher, too.
High costs are the major drawback of switching to drip irrigation because many countries, states and municipalities do not want to pay the upfront costs for drip irrigation systems.
The world can and should emulate Israel’s approach to water management to help conserve water and ensure that it’s available to the world’s thirsty.