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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Black! Israel's Water Shortage Getting Even Worse

Last night on the TV News there was once of those typically Israeli clueless pieces about how sad people are because the Carmel was damaged by the fire a few weeks ago.  To show their seriousness they made of point of mentioning the memorial spot for those killed in the bus. 
"I used to love to hike here."
"When will the new trees grow?"
Yes, and other trivial things  so far from the true tragedy I thought it was a cartoon.

Knock, knock, who's there?


This is the Holy Land, G-d country.  He's the One Who knows what must be done.  It's all in the Bible.  And we must pray to G-d.

Shavua Tov, Time to begin
There won't be any trees unless we have a few years of over average rainfall to start making up for the shortfall and constant wastage.  The Kineret, Israel's only large freshwater lake long passed all the red lines and is barely inches, centimeters from black. That's what people should be crying about.

11 comments:

Keli Ata said...

If I were living in Israel right now I'd probably be scared to death about the water problem.

Middle East and little water? Not good.

Batya said...

Any normal person would be, but things here aren't normal.

suter said...

Does the water consumption by the population have an impact on the water levels?

Is there a possibility to reduce water consum?

How is the average water usage per person in Israel as compared to neighbouring countries?

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
We should also be crying about how unprepared the fire department was. For decades the firefighters have been warning about the inadequacy of their equipment and materials, but the media never picked up the story so the government didn't do much. It's a sorry state of affairs when the government needs media pressure to do anything, but facts are facts. G-d sent us a miracle in the form of timely international assistance this time. I hope all relevant parties heed the wake-up call, because miracles don't happen every time.
Adir Zik, z"l said, "There are no more red lines in Israel, not even in the Kinneret." Now all reports say how far the water level is from the black line, not the highest red line, not the lowest red line: the black line. If the water level, G-d forbid, reaches the black line water (supposedly) will not be pumped from the Kinneret due to the damage certain to be caused.

Suter, answer to question no. 1: yes and question no. 2: yes. Israeli toilets and showers are water efficient, the newer the better so installing water saving devices on older items is a good idea. There was recently a nation-wide campaign to install such devices on faucets. Enforcing irrigation bans and preventing water pollution due to poor sewage, a problem rampant in Arab cities, and not for lack of assistance from the Israeli government, would help too. The Arabs not only build thousands of housing units illegally, but they don't bother with proper city planning. Question no. 3: Israel leads the world in water efficient irrigation equipment and methods. Arab countries have adopted some of them, in some cases claiming them as their own. I haven't looked into other aspects of water usage. Some rich Arab countries obtain a large portion of their water from desalination plants so a comparative study would have to take many parameters into consideration.

suter said...

I found a very interesting article about the water problem in Israel (in German)
http://www.anti-defamation.ch/index.php?id=15&section=2

It says that while the industrial water consumption is made more efficient, the private consumption increases as a result of rising living standart. This, together with population growth, seems to cause the water crisis: population consumes more than is renewed by rain, etc...

It seems that jewish Israelis on average consume three times more water than israeli arabs (129 m3 per year versus 47 m3 per year in 2000). I do not know how they calculated those figures, but it also seems consistent with the fact the Israel consumes about 3 times as much water per inhabitant and year than Jordan.

It is true that some arab countries have learned to be very wasteful of water: it seems that Dubai has the highest water consumption of all countries in the world...

Suter said...

..the article adds that it is paradoxical that Israel developed excellent sea-water-desalination technology, but mostly sells it to other countries, while sea-water desalination remains embryonic in Israel itself (due to the high cost per liter, it seems not yet economically viable...)

Apperently, Dubai has a desalination plant that produces 500'000 m3 a day...

However, some experts say that it is not possible to rely solely on sea water desalination to resolve the water crisis.

But, to address what Batya says: the problem seems to be structural, not seasonal, because Israel happened to have 4 dry years in a row:

Since the population is continuing to grow and water consumption per person also, while water supply might be reduced by peace agreements, the deficit will ever increase, if no other supplies are found.

Batya said...

Suter, Hadassa, thanks, interesting.

Being that we're discussing the HolyLand, it's not just science. We have to deal with the water crisis on every level, the scientific, the practical, the personal and the spiritual.

Suter said...

This water problem really got me thinking.

Actually, I think the most efficient ways of fighting it would be:

1) reduce per capita consumption to Jordanian level (around 36 m3 per year)

2) Curb population growth

I suppose, that a good approach would be to cease exports of agricultural products and water-intensive goods...

..it kind of makes no sense to me that agricultural products from a region with water shortage should be exported to a region with ample water supply... Does it?

Amond the industrial producits, I honestly don't know which ones are the most water intensive...

Suter said...

...but perhaps this is all more complex than that, since agriculture also might stop the desertification of the region....

...but then it should be more for domestic consumption rather than exports...

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
Suter, please keep in mind that the Israeli Arabs steal much of their water by tapping into pipelines. It is impossible to accurately access the amount of water that they use. The amount of pollution that the Arab cause by improper sewage systems, especially in the Negev, is worrisome too.
Also, for what is Jordan using water? Is any distinction being made between agricultural, industrial and household use? And the per crop or per production usage?

Batya said...

Hadassa, excellent points.