Where Does Israel Get Its Water


 

In recent years Israel has taken steps that have turned to enormous strides to solve their Water Crisis that has plagued the Arid Middle Eastern part of the world. These days Israel leads the world and is proud to show its success in supplying water to their Country and others in the region. Where does Israel get its water?

Israel uses innovative ideas for supplying H2O:

80% of Israel’s H2O is Recycled & Harvested
Wastewater Reclamation
Rainwater Management
Drip Irrigation
Sustainable Farming
Desalination Plants that are cost-effective & resourceful.
Water Filtration Technologies like Reverse Osmosis & Ultrafiltration

Israel often holds tours so that other countries like the US can import these technologies and processes to implement them in their water industry. Their water that is harvested is stored in unique underground aquifers to offset the effects of climate change.

 

Israel Water Crisis

Water is considered a natural resource in Israel. It is necessary to ensure the populations well being and quality of life. Because of the location, it was feared that the country would never be able to sustain itself. Chronic water shortage up until recent years has lead to a crisis.

They have had a deficit of water in aquifers has lead to other shortfalls and concerns in pollution and agriculture. In other words, as time went on things snowballed. It was getting worse and some people say, that it still is. The main hit on Israel during this deficit because of low water levels in the aquifer was on their agriculture in the private sector.

The main reasons for Israel’s’  water crisis were a drought that lasted four years in their region. During this time Israel went through a population increase which only made matters worse.

The past and current crises have led to the realization that a master plan for policy, institutional and operational changes are required to stabilize the situation and to improve Israel’s water balance with a long-term perspective. The total amount of renewable water Israel uses now is about 95% for domestic consumption and irrigation.

After drawing on nearly all of its readily available water resources using and depleting water in the aquifers, they are creating vigorous conservation programs. Israel has long made it their mission to stretch existing sources by developing non-conventional water sources while promoting conservation.

These efforts have focused on huge programs to reclaimed wastewater effluents,  intercepted runoff, and artificial recharge. Trying artificially-induced rainfall – cloud seeding along with desalination projects. They are making what they have to go along way and it is credible to see what they have accomplished in a few short years. In Israel, Public water conservation campaigns and public knowledge and sacrifice are starting to pay off.

Israeli citizens are encouraged and schooled in water conservation and increased awareness about water scarcity in the region. They have been receptive and with reduced consumption and increased awareness the challenge is being met.

With the countries slogan “Don’t Waste a Drop” and watering only at night. Citizens are involved in every part of the Israelis water problem and solution.

The two main sources of drinking water for Israel are underground reservoirs and the Sea of Galilee. In the early 1950’s, Israel started its water industry with a system of canals that took brackish water from the Sea of Galilee into and through the rest of the country.

This was ok at the start of this young country but soon it wasn’t enough. In 1997, Israel developed a process for desalinization using water from the Mediterranean Sea. By 2002 under drought conditions, Israel began construction of a number of plants with a process called Seawater Reverse Osmosis.

The dream was that water could be pulled from the ocean to your faucet as clean drinking water in 90 minutes. This dream was soon a reality but not without some problems. Other countries also share this dream of eliminating water scarcity throughout the world. Israel is working with and shares this process and other reclamation techniques with 40 countries all over the world including the United States. In fact Israel. located in a desert, expects to be exporting water in the future as the net amount increases.

 

Israel believes that every drop of water conserved through their awareness programs and from their new technologies can save the future of this tiny nation in the middle of the desert. They are making huge strides and successful development that they are sharing with the world inside and outside the arid region in the Middle East. Taking a huge setback which is water scarcity and turning that problem into a flourishing oppurtunities.

Israel Water Technology


An early technique of Israel water management technology was developed by a company called Tal-Ya (God’s Dew) Technologies. It uses plastic trays around trees planted in the desert to collect early morning dew. This same technique was used for 1000 years collecting dew off rocks in the desert to drink. The trays collect the water and filter down to the tree roots saving the amount of water to farm the trees by 50 percent.

The next technique is called Drip Irrigation-It produces more by using less in this case water. The system uses no electrical power and operates on gravity. This makes it easy to apply this method in the hard environment of mountain and desert regions throughout the world. By carefully applying the water by a controlled drip, the farmer uses less water but brings a result of an incredible increase in yield.

It runs on a computer software program developed by engineers in Israel for Israel but now belongs to the world. Israel has helped in humanitarian efforts in countries in Africa, South America, and especially India where the water crisis is expected to be at critical levels soon.

The Drip Irrigation has been a hugely successful effort, thanks to the Israeli water management technology and the people of Israel who train others in all parts of the world. You can purchase similar technologies here from Amazon believe it or not that uses the same type of technologies. Take a look here. Drip Tape Irrigation Kit for Small Farms Water up to 25 Rows

Israel recycles 8 x more wastewater than anyone else on the planet. They developed a way to use ultraviolet light to purify effluent from wastewater treatment plants. Used in farming and irrigation, the effluent is treated to a high degree. Some farms use only sewerage treatment to irrigate their crops.

They also use a natural warm seawater that is located underground to raise fish in a farm typesetting. The water that is used in the farm tanks is recycled to irrigate farms nearby. The fish waste filled with nutrients in the recycled water makes for good fertilizer for the crops.

The ancient Israelites used stones in the desert to collect moisture from dew in the morning air. Now modern Israelis are doing the same thing in a different way.  A company in Israel called; Tal-Ya Agriculture Solutions’ revolutionary product presents a dramatic opportunity for the agriculture industry worldwide.

Tal-Ya manufactures a unique, patented polypropylene tray that covers the plant’s root system, directing water and fertilizer directly to the root, while protecting the earth around the root from weeds and extreme temperatures. Using a Non-PET Recycled and Recyclable plastic tray that will deliver precious water to exactly where it needs to go. For about a dollar a tray they also prevent the need for weed killer or pesticides blocking out the area directly around the trees. Early in use the Dept. of Agriculture has already seen a 50 percent reduction in Irrigation cost for the farming of the trees.

Drip Irrigation Benefits

Israel claims that this process can solve world hunger and the worldwide water shortage that is taking place. Drip Irrigation offers solutions to many problems face in the semi-arid region where droughts can go on for years at a time. Drip Irrigation can save up to 90% of the water used for crop growth. It can increase crop yield by 15 percent. The technique allows crops to be grown almost anywhere in the world. Israel has made an oasis in the middle of the desert with this farming technique.

Even in the sandy soil that makes up farmland. The roots are healthier in this process and the crop yields are quicker delivering yield in a faster time period. Israel has been sharing this technique with other countries that are suffering from hunger because of irrigation problems or climate problems. It is estimated that over a billion people around the world are benefiting from this farming technique made in Israel.

Drip Irrigation processes are taking shape in India When the history of the decades-old Green Revolution in Asia and Africa is written, Israel’s Netafim — the company that brought drip irrigation to the world will be prominently featured. The company is making a big statement in the agricultural industry all around the globe like places in India where it’s being developed. the technique is having a huge impact on the cost of cultivation, a yield of a crop, and profitability. The United Nations are actually praising and accrediting Netafim who is the world’s largest manufacturer of Drip Irrigation Technology as life-saving to people of countries that they are helping through their work.

In Ghana, cocoa is one of the highest exports in Africa. In 2016 lack of rainfall and prevailing dry winds that develop over the Sahara region and Ghana destroyed most of the land that is used for cocoa. Since then the Drip Irrigation technique has transferred the dry sandy ground back to productive farmland.

Water is applied close to the cocoa plant where only part of the soil around the plant becomes wet. They are providing the Drip method for other crops too.  The drip Irrigation technique is fast-growing and proving to be so successful with production that employment on farms has picked up. The Drip Irrigation Method is now used in over 100 countries in the world today, with more to come.

Wastewater Reclamation

Wastewater Reclamation works by pumping the wastewater from the homes of more than 2 million people of Israel to a wastewater treatment plant that recycles more than 99.8 percent back to the level of potable water in stages: Removes the solids from the wastewater and recycles them.

The water is treated by adding microorganisms to it. The microbes purify the water by ingesting the organic material.
The treated effluent is pumped to a basin where it is introduced and recharged into the ground  After a year in the basin/ground-the water is taken out and used for irrigation for any kind of crops
The sludge that is created by the microorganisms is stabilized and also recycled as fertilizer for crops.

The Wastewater Reclamation Process works in stages.
The Raw wastewater is screened in a primary treatment where inorganic material is removed from the wastewater.
The organic material in the wastewater is broken down into sludge by microbes who purify the waste by using the organic matter as food.
The sludge that is created by the process is slowly dewatered and the sludge and water is separated from each other in sand filters for a period of 400 days. The water and sludge are recycled back to the earth in agriculture, completing Reclamation of the Wastewater.

Tal-Ya Agriculture Solutions’ revolutionary product presents a dramatic opportunity for the agriculture industry worldwide and is applauded for fighting worldwide hunger.

 

 

 

 

With Wastewater Reclamation Israel is able to squeeze every drop of water used by it’s population to be completely sustainable in their approach to recycle. 

Sorek Desalination Plant

There is a new Desalination plant in Israel, called Sorek, it was finished in late 2013 but is just now ramping up to its full capacity; it will produce 627,000 cubic meters of water daily, providing evidence that such large desalination facilities are practical. Indeed, desalinated seawater is now a mainstay of the Israeli water supply.

A dream a long time ago has be set into place as reality. There still is a lot of work to do but government officials are feeling successful for the future of Israel in the semi-arid regions that were so harsh but now hopeful.

The Sorek Desalinization plant began operations in October 1013 and can produce enough potable water for 3.8 million users or about 20 percent of the people of Israel. The plant been awarded many times for its innovation and new technology that exist in the heart of Israel. 

One of the most important components of the plant is the use of an SWRO desalination process. SWRO was chosen as it was the most practical option from technical and economical points of view.

The stages of Treatment at the Plant:

  • Pump Station with seven huge pipes that take raw feed water from the sea without disturbing the natural resource of a national park that the influent pipes cross over and connect the ocean to the Desalination plant more than 2 kilometers away. In the video you will notice that you can hardly notice pumps or the pipes that take the feed water and run towards the plant.

The suction heads on the intake pipes are carefully engineered to draw slow and consistently not to entrap sea organisms into the process. Corrosion of intake pipes is controlled by an automatic active cathodic protection system. The intake pump and pipeline have oil monitors and self-cleaning systems. The Electric power for the Pump Station is separate off grid dedicated system built for the station by a private company. 

  • Pre-Treatment– That helps protect the RO filters from fouling are chemical dosing and flocculation basin used in the pre-treatment of the raw seawater. The flocculation basin facilitates the process to separate suspended solids. Remaining impurities are removed through dual media gravity filtration. then this pre-treated filtered seawater is pumped slowly to booster pumps that grab the pre-treated water and deliver it to Reverse Osmosis treatment where the desalination happens.
  • Reverse Osmosis- employs huge 10,000 modules with 8 membranes per vessel that strip the salt from the seawater.

Brine is the byproduct sludge that is left over from the treatment process. It stored in a holding tank and pumped out returned to the sea at a depth of 20 meters.

  • Post Treatment– Minerals such as calcium are put back into the drinking water that was taken out during Reverse Osmosis. Limestone treatment with disinfection to water quality.

The process is controlled by a few water treatment operators and fully automated. Controlling amount for the ime of day.

  • Israel has only three sources of drinking water.
  • The Sea of Galilee
  • The Shore Aquifer
  • The Mountain Aquifer

The rain season only lasts for two weeks out of the year and has recently suffered one of it’s worst droughts ever. The scarcity of water has effected this region and made life difficult for people that inhabit this arid region. Israel’s water reclamation projects have created forests and farms throughout the country despite this condition. But, because of the population rise, water consumption and a rise in pollution, water, again has become more of a concern.

Wastewater acclamation will be harder to accomplish because of more contaminants like heavy metals entering the system. The government has stricter laws that will affect their industries for years to come. The Desalination plants that are also the main source of potable water, are expected to be able to handle the influx in population projected at least for the next 10 to 15 years. Then in the future, more ways to overcome the water scarcity problems will be needed.

New Desalination plants are being built to provide the needed 60 percent of drinking and industrial potable water supply that is presently being used. There is some concern to meet these projections even with the huge success that Israel has enjoyed over the past few years. They live in a desert and the last drought they had lasted 10 years. They have learned not to take any chances.

Israel’s Innovation 

less than 7 years ago Israel was out of the water and in trouble. Coming off a 4-year drought that threatened their existence Now with the new practices of desalinization and recycled reclaimed wastewater practices along with Israel’s Water Management in Agriculture. The future looks bright. Severe water restriction like 2-minute showers that were the normal state of things has been done away with. 25% of all of Israel’s water is desalinated. 

86% of wastewater in Israel’ is Recycled under their Wastewater Reclamation System that is half the water that is needed for farming and irrigation of crops. Now that Israel has put a dent in their water problems they have reached out to the world’s problems. Even in the United States where water scarcity is happening at a large scale across the country.

 

Desalination Plants in the USA

Israel’s strategy of many different techniques to solve its water crisis is the main reason they are so successful at it. Smart technology along with good conservationism that they employ ensures that they can improve agriculture along with providing pure drinking water to the population and its growth in the future.

They also can stand on the forefront as the leaders in the world addressing the water issues that eventually will come. Israel today has an open door policy of training others from the middle east region and worldwide. They partner with sub-Saharan African nations to train them on the best practices for water treatment.

They send trainers to help others develop ways of using their Drip Technology along with Desalination and Wastewater Treatment Reclamation processes in other countries from India to the USA. In 2014 California’s Governor Jerry Brown invited Benjamin Netanyahu for a visit to help California during the severe drought that was occurring with the ongoing problems of water scarcity that was happening all over the state and in Colorado, Nevada and other states.

Since his visit, California has 15 Desalination plant on a schedule that is now in use or in construction at the time I’m writing this article. The cost of Desalination plants is one-third of what they were in the 1990s. *Israelis pay about $30.00 a month for water, the average water bill in the states except for Vegas $47.00 and LA at $58.00 where there is no water in California and the other Western States. 

The salvation of Israel after the worst drought in their history could be the world’s salvation in the coming years. Israel’s water shortage solution could be the bridge that solves all conflicts in that area, where they all have a common cause, finding water to live.

The Carlsbad Calif. Desalination Plant, seen here in a Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 photo, borders Interstate 5 on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other in Carlsbad, Calif. There’s far more riding on the Americas’ largest seawater desalination plant than the 50 million gallons of drinking water it will produce for the San Diego area each day. The plant’s technology uses information from meetings and conferences based in Israel.

These plants are popping up all over the world now, thanks to lessons learned from Israel. This one will open this year and will help determine the future of seawater desalination in the United States. (AP Photo) There are Desalinization Plant being built or have already been completed in Texas, Florida, Oregon and numerous location in Europe.

 

In the coming years, Water Scarcity will be one of the biggest problems the world will face. It only took Israel 6 years to turn a water scarcity crises into a water solution starting from a desert, for themselves and giving hope for the rest of the world in arid regions where water is a commodity.

Jim has worked for over 30 years in the Water/Wastewater and Water Filtration Business. Starting out in Operations then working as a Consultant for US Steel Corporations and other Utility Companies in PA.  He has written over 300 articles on the World Wide Water Crises.

jimGalloway

Author & Editor, MyWaterEarth&Sky

References:

Netafim-Grow more with Less

IDE Technologies-Water Industries

Israel farming methods-Youtube

Related Questions:

What is the Israel Water Shortage Solution? Among them is the National Water Carrier, carrying water from the country’s biggest freshwater lake, the Sea of Galilee, to the northern Negev desert through channels, pipes and tunnels.

What is Israel’s main source of water? Israel’s Water Sources. Israel’s sources of water include underground water from the mountain and coastal plain aquifers, groundwater from Lake Kinneret, rivers, lakes, water reservoirs.

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