Since its inception, Israeli scientists have always put great efforts into developing solutions to help alleviate their country’s chronic water problems.
Beginning with innovated “drip” irrigation systems (companies Plastro and Netafim) for arid regions, and continuing with desalination of seawater in the early 1960’s and recycling of sewage waste water in the 1970’s and ’80s, projects developed to conserve Israelis’ scarce water supplies have been leaders in their field, and much of this technology has been exported to other countries that also have serious water problems.
More recently, these conservation and recycling projects has resulted in the creation of a new program known as Novel Efficient Water Technologies or Israeli NEWTech for short. Going far beyond the original projects for providing more water resources for agricultural use, as well as for combating “desertification” of the country’s Negev arid region, Israel NEWTech water projects are also involved in treatment and recycling of sewage and other waste water, new advanced methods of desalination, as well as water security and management programs.
Israel has one of world’s highest percentages of waste water reclamation, second only to the American state of California. This program is designed to reclaim as high a percentage of waste water as possible, and redistribute it back into the national water system.
Although most of this reclaimed water is earmarked for agricultural and industrial use, a portion of it is purified by method of special chemicals and filtration devices that make the water pure enough for human consumption.
One of these water purification plants, the Dan Region Treat and Reclamation Plant, located 15 kilometers south of Tel Aviv and purifies 130 million cubic meters of waste water annually.
This plant, which entails a system of special treatment pools, oxidation and anaerobic systems to remove impurities such as nitrates and phosphorous from the water, treats enough to re-supply approximately 8% of the entire country’s water needs. Another large reclamation project is located at Haifa to reclaim industrial waste water from the city’s many factories and refineries, as well as from the heavily polluted Kishon River. Israel’s two main water purification challenges come from sewage from the country’s urban ears as well as from the industrial sector.
A very important part of NEWTech’s water innovation programs is the water security programs to make sure that the population has adequate reserve water supplies for use during a national emergency or humanitarian crises to help minimize deaths and illness from inadequate or unsafe drinking water supplies. This includes systems for re-purifying water supplies and re-distributing it as needed.
Israel NEWTech projects were exhibited in a recent water purification exhibition in Beijing China in November, 2008. NEWTech participation in events scheduled for 2009 include the Waste-Tech water recycling exhibition in Russia, on May 26-29, as well as forums and exhibitions in the USA, UK, Taiwan, and France. As far as we know Oded Distel, who Green Prophet wrote about here in regards to the upcoming WATEC water convention, is the person to contact should you or your country be looking for Israeli water tech solutions.