Water for Life

By developing alternative water sources through water harvesting, building reservoirs and recycling effluents, KKL-JNF has made agriculture flourish in regions that were considered impossible for farming.

During recent years, Israel's water crisis had been gradually worsening. There are several reasons for the water shortage, including the fact that Israel is a semi-arid region with few sources of water - the population is growing rapidly, the standard of living with its accompanying consumption of water per capita is rising and there have been several consecutive years of drought.

For many years, KKL-JNF has been working to bolster Israel's water economy by developing alternative water sources, saving the economy millions of shekels each year. KKL-JNF collects and treats water from agriculture, sewage, flash floods and urban runoff for recycling, saving precious fresh water sources for drinking. With over 230 water reservoirs throughout the country, KKL-JNF has enriched Israel's water economy by a total of 260 million cubic meters. The water from KKL-JNF’s reservoirs is used for agricultural irrigation in places with little rain, enabling intensive, profitable agriculture; even in regions where without the treated sewage water, there would be no agriculture at all. Now, the availability of water can allow for two-and-a-half growth cycles in a year.

Israel is the world leader today in the use of reclaimed water. More than 85% of its effluents are treated and used for agriculture, and the aim is to reach 90% within the next few years. Large areas that were once desolate due to water scarcity, especially in the Negev, are now green and covered with groves and field crops. Purified wastewater is relatively cheap and available for farmers, which enables them to profit from their labor.

Constructed Wetlands: Imitating Nature
In addition to the reservoirs, KKL-JNF is a pioneer in innovative water technologies. One example is the constructed wetlands project in Hod Hasharon, one of the most important ecological projects being implemented in Israel today. Purified effluents from the Hod Hasharon and Kfar Saba wastewater treatment facility undergo a special process in the constructed wetlands and are then channeled to the Yarkon Stream to improve its water quality. The reclaimed water can also be used to irrigate lawns and cultivated fields.

Agriculture with Brackish Water

Agriculture with Brackish Water

The magic formula for irrigating crops with saline water comes in the form of a bitter-sweet cocktail.