The Jewish National Fund has been helping to build Israel’s reservoirs for several years. The number of such reservoirs is now more than 250.
While Israel is already by far the global leader in wastewater recycling, Jewish National Fund (JNF) is determined to see the country reuse nearly all of its sewage in the years to come as its population continues to expand from North to South.
The long-term intention is to increase Israel’s recycled water from 85% to 95%.
“The government doesn’t have enough money to do everything and that’s where JNF comes in,” he said, citing the $30 million Shamir Drilling project near the Golan Heights as an example of such an endeavor.
Ahead of the upcoming United Nations World Water Day on March 22, JNF has both near and long-term visions for Israel’s wastewater treatment, river rehabilitation, water reservoir, irrigation, and water education activities.
One such project for 2017 is water reclamation and recycling program at the Beduin community of Um Batin in the Negev desert. JNF plans to connect Beduin households to on-site wastewater treatment and reuse systems to minimize environmental and public health risks, while providing high-quality wastewater for the community’s irrigation needs.
An additional water project on the horizon for JNF in 2017 is the Arava Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will collect sewage from six kibbutzim and dairy farms in the Eilot Regional Council, situated just north of Eilat. The treated effluent will be pumped to JNF’s existing Elifaz Reservoir, which provides water for agricultural use to 10 area kibbutzim.
The treatment plant, according to JNF, will help stimulate the growth of a region that is isolated from the national water supply grid.
One of the greatest things about water is that it allows for the resettlement of people, and country has initiatives to bring 300,000 people to the north as well as 500,000 to the south.
The organization intends to expand its existing Rainwater Harvesting Program, which already provides schools throughout Israel with an interactive means of teaching students water conservation.
The second education initiative is JNF’s sponsorship of the Israeli International Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition, which recognizes the work of young people on water research.
Looking beyond 2017 and toward the long-term future, in addition to raising Israel’s water reuse from 85% to 95%, cleaning up all of Israel’s 31 rivers is on high importance. Each and every one of these rivers has been victim to pollution over the years.
Also, the water levels of the Dead Sea and Jordan River are dropping at an alarming rate and can only be solved if the three parties involved – Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority – are able to reach some sort of diplomatic agreement regarding this transboundary water issue.