Why Climate Change?
Adapting to the water effects of climate change will protect health and save lives.
Using water more efficiently will reduce greenhouse gases.
We cannot afford to wait. Everyone has a role to play.
Israel: the top recycler of water in the world!
Israel is the world leader today in the use of reclaimed water, far ahead of its runner up, Spain, which recycles 19% of its 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.
Most of the agriculture in Israel is irrigated with reclaimed water. Large areas, which 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.
The 230 reservoirs constructed by KKL-JNF all over Israel store floodwater and treated wastewater that is later conducted for agricultural irrigation. This is how expensive, potable freshwater is saved, how inexpensive water is supplied to farmers, and how agriculture can succeed in arid regions. 260 million cubic meters of water are added to Israel’s water economy annually thanks to these reservoirs.
Thanks to the reservoirs, effluents are not dumped in the streams or into the sea, so the reservoirs also make a significant contribution toward preserving the environment and preventing the pollution of natural water sources.
Biofiters: Purifying Runoff
The runoff from rainfall on urban streets gathers toxic substances that flow into streams and into the sea. 200 million cubic meters of rainwater are wasted annually in Israel, washing into the sea and polluting the beaches, the water and the fish. This is one of the environmental issues of the modern era.
A solution currently undergoing a pilot project in three Israeli cities is the biofilter. The biofilter aims to utilize this rainwater, prevent pollution and replenish the groundwater. The technology was developed in conjunction with Monash University in Australia, and KKL-JNF has been promoting its application in Israel with support from Friends of JNF Australia.
The biofilter facility consists of several layers of sand, gravel and plants. The upper layer is covered with a bed of special plants that assist in purifying the water. The lower layers are not aerated, so they develop a population of bacteria that can thrive in an environment with very little oxygen, consume toxins and facilitate processes that purify the water. The complex system is effective in eliminating assorted pollutants, such as heavy metal particles, organic substances and lubricants.
Three biofilter facilities have been constructed in Israel to date, in Kfar Saba, Ramla and Bat Yam, and they have proven to be effective in collecting runoff, purifying it through biological and physical means that are environmentally friendly, and conducting it to the aquifer or to be used for irrigation.