6 Tips for Conserving Water in Israel and the Middle East

The recent attention given by the news media and this blog concerning our water problems in general, and to the depleting the Kinneret in particular, reminds me of a poster I saw once in a surfing products shop that read: “The Next War in the Middle East Will be Over Water.”

Although the poster really had nothing to do with this subject (it was advertising surfing clothing and accessories), the reality of our water problems is one for everyone’s concern.

The dry lake in this photo is actually in the Mojave Desert in Southern California, it could one day apply to the Kinneret as well, which is also way below sea level.

Actually, the main problem in our water crises involves all of us who live in Israel and how we use water. When the water conserving publicity started drawing attention, a number of ideas have been forwarded for personal water conservation at home.

After reviewing many of these water saving ideas, I have come up with some interesting ideas that could save at least 18 -20 liters of water per person, per day, by engaging in the following practices:

1. Heating and using water that would have been thrown away (from mineral water bottles, etc.,) for kitchen uses, shaving, etc.

2. By not flushing the toilet each time (depending on the reason for usage).

3. By careful use of water during teeth brushing, shaving, washing before bed or in the morning (not shower usage). That means keeping the tap turned off when actually brushing teeth, and only turning in on again briefly to rinse the mouth.

4. By never taking a bath (in a tub), and by “soaping down” in the shower before turning the water back on. This will save up to 10-12 liters per shower.

5. By forgoing at least one shower per week – it’s not the end of the world to not shower once a day.

6. By going back to the practice of using buckets to wash that comfortable, imported car that the software company has given you as a job perk. In the “old days” we used buckets to wash our modest Fiat 127’s or locally made Escort or Sussita.

Indeed, I realize most, if not all, of the above practices seem a bit Draconian, but, the day may come when we will all think of the “good old days” when the stuff coming out of our taps could actually be drunk (even without a Brita or some other kind of filtration device).

While awaiting our government to institute measures to solve our water problem in the “long run”, we can certainly help our “short run” situation by using some or all of the measures as noted above.

By practicing the above measures we can all save an average of 165 liters of water per month! Think of how much 1,000 ,10,000 , or even 100,000 people will save by such conservation. And by doing so, our personal life-styles will only be slightly altered.

We can either do this on a voluntary basis now or a forced basis later on. The choice is ours, like it or not.

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