Don Ford reports this as "an unusual meeting in an unusual place"
Israel, a tiny desert nation has a great deal to teach California about water recycling. According to water expert Eilon Adar from Israel's Ben Gurion University California currently recycles less than 10 % of its sewage. Israel, the world leader in water-reclaiming, reuses 83.5%.
As of 2010, Israel leads the world in the proportion of water it recycles.Israel treats 80% of its sewage (400 billion liters a year), and 100%
of the sewage from the Tel Aviv metropolitan area is treated and reused
as irrigation water for agriculture and public works. The remaining
sludge is currently pumped into the Mediterranean, however a new bill
has passed stating a conversion to treating the sludge to be used as
manure. Only 20% of the treated water is lost (due to evaporation,
leaks, overflows and seeping). The recycled water allows farmers to plan
ahead and not be limited by water shortages. There are many levels of
treatment, and many different ways of treating the water—which leads to a
big difference in the quality of the end product. The best quality of
reclaimed sewage water comes from adding a gravitational filtering step,
after the chemical and biological cleansing. This method uses small
ponds in which the water seeps through the sand into the aquifer in
about 400 days, then is pumped out as clear purified water.
Currently, a delegation from Israel is touring the Delta Diablo Sanitation plant in Antioch, to compare what the two countries can learn from each other regarding recycling water.Both California and Israel are currently in serious drought conditions.
Watch it here