Solutions for a Water-Starved World
For decades, Jewish National Fund has been working to bolster Israel’s water economy by developing alternative water sources, advancing Israeli agriculture, and improving water quality. The results are impressive. JNF’s work with water has increased Israel’s water economy by over 15% through the treatment, recycling, and collection of both waste and runoff water, responsible aquifer drilling, and river rehabilitation.
We have built over 250 reservoirs, which has raised the amount of recycled water in Israel from 4% to over 85% today. Furthermore, over half of Israel’s agricultural water comes from recycled and reused wastewater, and most of that water is supplied by JNF reservoirs.
While Israel is now more water secure than it has ever been, our work is not over and the need for water is not going away. Israel’s population is growing, and with that growth comes the need for additional reliable water resources. What's more, Israel has faced consecutive years of drought, which has significantly impacted the conditions in the Sea of Galilee and groundwater reservoirs. No major impact is expected to affect the drinking water supply thanks to the success of desalination plants. However, the drought is significantly impacting agriculture, which requires large quantities of less expensive water so as to be productive and profitable.
Jewish National Fund’s past accomplishments and successes have laid the groundwork that today enable us to continue to invest in Israel’s water, and in turn for Israel to share its technology with the world. Our efforts now focus on the next generation of water needs.
Halutza was founded in 2005 by a group of families who established three communities: Naveh, Atzmona, and Netzarim. Located in the northwest Negev on Israel’s borders with Egypt and Gaza, these pioneers chose to move to this remote corner of the desert—secluded from the national water grid —to a land which had never been inhabited or farmed—because they saw the development of the Negev as Israel’s next national mission and wanted to participate in building our nation.
The water that is currently supplied to the communities of Halutza is desalinated water—the most expensive type of water—making the agricultural yields unprofitable. Locating and producing a more cost efficient water is a condition of agriculture continuing in this region. JNF is working with the communities of Halutza on a two-phase research and drilling project that will provide the region with water of good quality for a much lower cost.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Jewish National Fund's contribution towards helping alleviate Israel’s water crisis is not limited to building reservoirs. Cutting-edge research is critical for efficient water usage. Research must also be translated into action and JNF is working towards implementing the findings across Israel and turning it into reality. Successes thus far include the Shamir Wells Research, the largest natural underground water resource of the past decade in Israel; the Hula Basin, which is a vital component of Israel’s natural water economy; the Besor River Basin Rehabilitation; and MYWAS, the Multi-Year Water Allocation System which is a national water management model designed to achieve the most efficient water resource management possible.
JNF is also involved in numerous projects of R&D as it pertains to water for agriculture. In the arid climate of the