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In Israel, Every Drop of Water Makes A Difference

In Israel, Every Drop of Water Makes a Difference

By Jonna Bloom

Water, Israel’s most precious resource, is as valuable as a single droplet as it is in the sea. Nurturing even the tiniest trickle is what drives Dr. Shimon Tal, one of Israel’s leading experts on water issues, as he evaluates proposals for innovative ideas that are coming to The JNF Parsons Water Fund.

“The Fund, part of Jewish National Fund, deals with water issues in vital niche areas that larger bodies tend to overlook,” explained Tal, a burly, white-haired man with a penchant for academic phrasing. “Governmental resources address large-scale macro issues such as assuring the national domestic water supply. This allows the JNF Parsons Water Fund the flexibility to entertain the smaller financial scale efforts that address a wide range of important water challenges.”

The handful of proposals that will ultimately be chosen will receive their share of a few million shekels from the JNF Parsons Water Fund to help support innovative ideas in the field of water. 
The Fund, working on the basis of Tal’s recommendations, will choose a handful of lucky recipients for both grants and revolving fund loans, in an effort to address areas of concern that are either neglected or underfunded though are vital for Israel’s water resources.

Jewish National Fund has been a lifeline for dry, parched, Israel, and through its work over the years, has increased the country’s water supply by 12 percent. The JNF Parsons Water Fund, named for the late Natan Parsons, was set up to boost and bolster such work, and is overseen by a board of directors, each of whom has contributed a minimum of $100,000.

In the past few years, the JNF Parsons Water Fund has supported many exciting projects. They include construction of Israel’s largest artificial wetland, the Multi-Year Water Allocation System (MYWAS), a national water management model that can maximize resource allocation; several reservoirs to store recycled water such as the Gomeh Reservoir near Kiryat Shmona in Israel’s north, which provides water to some 30 farming communities in the Galilee panhandle; and the Shamir Drills, which is the JNF Parsons Water Fund’s flagship drilling project.

Even searching for new ideas and new areas to explore in water sustainability and management, the JNF Parsons Water Fund has invited the general public to submit their ideas to the fund. For Dr. Tal, these proposals – which have come in from universities, research institutions, public bodies, regional water authorities, professional water organizations and more – remind him of the many water challenges and needs across the country.

“The Fund is filling an essential role in complementing Israel’s national water authorities and finding new ways to support Israel’s water economy,” said Dr. Tal. “Its many projects thus far have helped address issues of water quality and trans-boundary challenges, with a focus on recycling, developing alternative water sources, education, stream and aquifer restoration, and research.”

The JNF Parsons Water Fund will announce the winners in April 2014.

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.

JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.

JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.

For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit


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Water Challenges

In Israel the most precious commodity is water and it is at risk. Find out how you can help.


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