Two interesting articles were published in the past week about Israel’s water shortage and possible solutions. In the first one, “Drops in the Bucket,” which appeared in Haaretz, the article discusses how Israelis can expect water rations and increased fees for water in the near future, like the inhabitants of countries such as Cyprus and Jordan, if the government continues to be slowed down in making decisions by lengthy bureacracy and legislation.
The CEO of Mekorot, Ido Rosolio has been particularly vocal about preventing this, as Mekorot, which is the national water utility, is a company that should be and is able to handle Israel’s water needs and provide the necessary infrastructure to maintain it in the longterm.
However, the government has thus far failed to pass the necessary legislation to do so.
Should the legislation ever be passed, according to Rosolio, Mekorot has plans to
“to alter the entire structure of the nationwide delivery system and the map of Israel’s water resources: from a situation in which the primary water sources are Lake Kinneret and the aquifers – depleted in recent years – to a situation where the primary source of drinking water will be desalination plants; from the activity of reservoir pumping to a situation where water is piped from the sea continuously, in accordance with changes in population size and distribution. The entire water system has to be overhauled. This is Mekorot’s primary mission today.”
The second article, “Water Authority wants public input in master plan,” which appeared in the Jerusalem Post online edition, discusses the water issue from the government angle and that Israel’s Water Authority recently unveiled a new plan to encourages professional as well as public involvement in the master plan for Israel’s future.
While in the past no master water plan has successfully been approved by the government and Israel is currently using an interim plan (extended to 2013), Authority head, Prof. Uri Shani is on a mission to make it finally happen. In synch with Mekorot’s plans, the areas the Water Authority plans to address include:
“removing obstacles to developing the water economy, preparing for threats, treating sewage, preserving natural water resources, increasing efficiency, protecting nature and increasing the number of professionals in the water economy.”
An additional key to solving Israel’s water crisis would be to get more young professionals in the field. Training and education is essential and univeisties should get involved to help with the recuriting efforts.