Israel is a water management super-power

The Sea of Galilee is one of the holiest places to Christianity. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists and pilgrims visit the place where Jesus walked and fed his followers bread and fish 2000 years ago.

The Sea of Galilee is not only a holy place; it is also Israel’s main above ground water resource. Unfortunately, the many years of drought in Israel have left their mark on the lake and you can now see many islands that up until now were submerged.

In fact, in June this year, Israel recorded the lowest water levels for the lake since accurate recording began 100 years ago.

This depletion of the main water resource of Israel was supposed to be no less than a disaster for the country and its water supply.

Shockingly this isn’t so, quite the opposite – Israel has recently declared a water surplus.

How can you explain the fact that a country that sees only 500mm of rain water annually – a similar rainfall to that of South Africa, when the world average is 860mm – announces that it has a surplus of water even though it’s resources are empty?

The answer is that Israel, that from the start had a declared national water emergency, has invested all of its efforts in the last century into finding a solution to the water problem.

Israel’s success emerges from its ability to incorporate technological solutions together with full cooperation between all of the stake holders: the government, local municipalities, farmers, academics, private companies and all citizens of the country.

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All these brought to a situation where if you’re flying over the Middle-East you’d see desert until you’re above the Israeli oasis.

Although Israel has solved its water woes, the rest of the world’s water situation continues to deteriorate.

The UN estimates that 2/3 of the world’s population will soon face drought.

This will cause food prices to rise, many areas to face starvation, and, might create conflict surrounding control of water resources.

This water depletion is a result of over-usage, waste, poor water management, over-exacerbating aquafir waters, pollution and climate change.

Israeli cities ‘lose’ the least amount of water in the world – their leaks and loss of water total 5 %-8 % in each city (South African cities average close to 40%).