July 25, 2012 - As record-breaking temperatures and drought conditions sweep the U.S., we have all been given a glimpse of what Israel, a small desert nation, has been coping with for decades.
Israel's chronic water scarcity has given rise to incredible technologies that are being recognized as global models.
Recently, Israel was recognized as a world leader in agricultural water use efficiency in a recently published report by The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The UN chose Israel’s Dan Region wastewater treatment plant as one of 30 projects from around the world that demonstrate the ability of local authorities to deal with environmental problems.
In Israel, nearly 50% of the water used to grow crops is recycled wastewater and overall Israel reuses 80% of its water resources—the highest rate in the world.
Over the past two decades, Jewish National Fund (JNF) has worked to alleviate Israel’s chronic water shortage, primarily through the construction of recycled water reservoirs that have increased the water supply by 12%. The JNF Parsons Water Fund, with a $100 million fundraising goal, was established to expand upon this vital work.
The Fund supports initiatives that address the water shortage, issues of water quality, and trans-boundary challenges, with a focus on recycling, developing alternative water sources, education, stream and aquifer restoration, and research. One of its unique approaches is to operate largely as a revolving fund, lending capital for water projects and using repayments for future investments. In addition, the Fund identifies projects where its philanthropic contributions can leverage three to five times the invested sum by drawing matching funds from public sources.
Visit jnf.org/water to learn how JNF increases Israel’s water supply by 12%, funds research on the use of recycled water, and saves enough freshwater to meet the needs of 4.4 million people a year.