“Israelis will be the first to tell you that they look to create opportunity out of adversity. As a developed country with a relatively high standard of living, situated in an arid part of the world, Israel has focused on harnessing and conserving water for years. With water scarcity becoming an increasingly recurring theme in the United States, we would do well to learn to do the same. Here are a few innovative water management sustainability projects that are worth learning from:
Go anywhere in Tel Aviv and you will see drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is a system of valves and pipes that delivers water directly to the root of the plant, with almost no evaporation or surface runoff. The system uses 30 percent to 50 percent less water than conventional sprinkling. In Israel, drip irrigation makes up 95 percent of watering applications.
Drinking water is another challenge, which Israel has addressed by focusing on desalination. The Israeli Water Authority estimates that 80 percent of its water will be desalinated by 2014. Issues with desalination aside, the next challenge is getting Israelis to drink the desalinated water. While I thought the water tasted fine and better than in some states in the US, Israelis seem to prefer their water filtered.
Finally, education, as in anything, is key. The Israelis understand the importance of education in promoting a sustainable way of living. At the David Yellin College’s Education for Sustainability Development (ESD) Institute, they consider water “blue gold”. One project ESD has undertaken involves storing water from air conditioning condensation in a cistern. This is used in part to water plants, and the rest is sent to a pond downstream.
Kibbutz Lotan reuses water from the bathroom sinks and composting toilets, also known as black water, via constructed wetlands pools that process the water. The pools work like a septic system but instead of the water going from the leach field into the ground, it is cleaned from organic load then used to water the fig, date and olive trees.”
Read more: Huffington post