Sweden, a country with a lot of fresh water resources, is now interested in promoting joint water R & D projects with Israel. This interested was expressed recently by Sweden’s new ambassador to Israel, Elinor Hammarskjold, who expressed these remarks in a speech at a ceremony at the Jerusalem College of Technology, and reported in the Jerusalem Post.
The ambassador, whose late grandfather was the well loved UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, told the ceremony audience that although Sweden has abundant fresh water, her government is nevertheless interested in finding ways to increase the amount and quality of fresh water in countries where water resources are much scarcer than in her own country.
Ambassador Hammarskjold said that although water from streams in the mountains of Sweden is still clean enough to drink without purification, water in neighboring countries are not as fortunate, and that countries in the Mediterranean and Middle East have severe water problems that seem to be getting worse.
She continued by saying that Israel is a world leader in R & D projects dealing water conservation, and added that :
“Israel is slightly ahead of Sweden in the rate of resources invested in research and development. Maybe some of you young people will be involved in development. I hope to do more to contribute to joint scientific cooperation between our countries.”
Gal Oren and Nerya Stroh with teachers
Israel water conservation projects that are of particular interest are those involving detection of leakage in water piping systems; and she congratulated work being done two Jerusalem teenagers, Gal Oren and Nerya Stroh, who developed “a user-friendly computerized device that detects water leaks in apartments, buildings, factories and neighborhoods in real time and can even halt the water flow from such leaks.”
The project, which they worked on as school projects, was considered worthy enough to earn them the Stockholm Junior Water Prize which included a one week trip to Sweden to accept the prize and participate in water conservation seminars held there.
The water leakage detection device, which only costs around NS 100 ( $27.80) has attracted the attention of Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Naomi Tsur, who is in charge of the planning and environment portfolios. She wants to invite the two teenagers to a meeting of the municipality’s environment committee along with officials of Hagihon, the city’s water company, to see if their device can be used to reduce the estimated 13 percent water supply loss due to leaks.
Besides R&D projects to detect and repair leaky pipes in water systems, Israel is currently the world leader in reclaiming water from sewage systems, and reuse 70% of sewage water for use in agriculture and public parks and gardens.
Ambassador Hammarskjold emphasized the importance of the research being done by people like Oren and Stroh by saying: “according to the UN, more than 30% of the world’s water supplies is lost due to leaks and illegal tapping.” Maybe this new detection device, made by two bright young Israeli innovators, can help reduce some of this water loss in both Israel and abroad.
Read more one water reclamation and conservation projects in Israel: