After droughts and continuous dry weather since 2005, there is a serious water crisis in Israel.
The Water Authority was created in 2007 to efficiently manage issues of water under one roof. In the beginning of December employees went on strike to protest their increased work load caused by restructuring. We missed the daily reports on the water level of the Kinneret, as there were no measurements taken during their two month strike. Now they have finally gone back to work.
A Canadian delegation from the Province of Manitoba was in Jerusalem in January to collaborate with Israel on issues of water conservation and water reuse.
Despite several heavy rainfalls, the Jerusalem area has less than its annual average rainfall to date. We need water. Last week instead off the predicted snow, Jerusalem got rain, and this week that is still what everyone is talking about: oh, did it rain and rain. While everyone wants it to rain, no one wants to have to go out when it does rain.
One wet season is not enough. Mekorot, the national water company, has tried to catch the run-off from flooding after the heavy rains. Rainwater collection reservoirs were filled in January. Israel is one the world’s leading consumers of recycled water, but we could do better.
After it rains, puddles of water can be found, up on the roof tops and down on the ground.
February 7, 2010
These workers hosing down a driveway on King George Street sent too much excess water onto the road.
February 7, 2010
Meah Shearim Street was wet from water running down from the Geulah neighborhood.
February 8, 2010
Emek Refaim Street was wet; puddles from wasted water were obvious on a dry day.
New water pipes should not leak,
but what a mess while the work
is in progress.
Under the new development plans for the Rechavia neighborhood, no new private or public swimming pools will be allowed.
Desalination of water and rainwater harvesting for use in washing machines, toilets and gardens are all important steps that are being developed.
One factor in recent lowering of water consumption could be the massive price increases.
There are many important issues involving water and its conservation. Thanks to those with imagination, drip irrigation and perhaps a “green thumb” who bring beautiful color to the Jerusalem streets.