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EICG: Talk on Israel's Water Management Innovations with Laura Zarco Olson (virtual)

Monday, March 20, 2023 27 Adar 5783

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Unless water is managed more efficiently, global water demand is expected to exceed supply about 40% by 2030, impacting food production, human suffering, migration patterns, and global geopolitics.

In addition to desalination, which many people know about; Israel recognizes the value of treated wastewater as a resource and has become the worldwide leader in water reuse. The Israeli Water Authority’s master plan aims to reuse 100% of the wastewater effluent! At present, Israel reuses close to 90% of its wastewater effluent, primarily for irrigation purposes. About 10% goes to environmental uses, including increasing river flows and firefighting.

Israel has made the desert bloom by developing technology and techniques that produce larger crops of better quality with careful use of water resources in an area with 1% rainfall per year. Many of the technologies reuse water in creative ways including hydroponic greenhouses that grow plants and fish. Because of this success, the Arava now delivers 60% of Israel’s fresh vegetable exports.


  • How Israel has overcome the challenge of providing water to its growing population, including: desalination plants, water treatment plants for reuse, and prioritizing the construction of reservoirs across the country
  • How Israel is using water is as an element of the peace negotiations with Arab neighbors.
  • The technologies the “Start Up Nation” is inventing to detect water waste and conservation opportunities, including:
    • Machines that create drinking water from the air!
    • Cameras that roam the water distribution pipes under Jerusalem for leak detection
    • Technology that enables trees to call the farmer to water and for how long
  • Recently, JNF-USA created a partnership with educational institutes in the Negev desert and the University of Arizona to share their combined knowledge of arid agriculture and technology to improve food sustainability and clean drinking water for a village in Kenya, including:

Laura Zarco Olson is a member of the Water Task Force for Jewish National Fund - USA.

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Tue, March 21 2023 28 Adar 5783