Arie Brish, Brewster McCracken, Kevin Wagner, Michael Ben-Eli, Michael Webber spoke on Lessons from the Negev: Allaying Water Scarcity at the Austin Convention Center as part of the SXSW Eco festival . Tiny Israel is the world’s leading water recycler- reusing nearly all of its grey water. As we enter our fourth year of drought, California ought to pay close attention.
From the Program announcement:
Ambassador Meir Shlomo, Ph.D., Consul General of Israel to the Southwest of the U.S., will give opening remarks for this session. Impending water shortages affect not just agriculture, but the comforts and lifestyles many Americans have become accustomed to. Since its existence, Israel has found innovative ways to make the most of its small water resources. Because Israel and Texas share similar climatic conditions they face similar water challenges. As a result, collaborative relationships and discussions are underway to address shared water scarcity issues. These relationships coupled with evolving solutions can serve as a basis for innovative approaches elsewhere. The panel will discuss specific research, technologies and practices from several Israeli and Texas based projects and companies, as well as entities such as Mekorot, Israel's national water carrier. By considering new technologies, project based experimentation, tax incentives, market based strategies, public-private partnerships and philanthropy, a framework for enhancing collaboration and providing solutions for water scarcity will emerge.
From Yahoo News
Israel is a desert country suffering through a devastating drought. And it has so much water it’s considering exporting the excess.
How Israel went from being chronically water stressed to banking water surpluses offers lessons for the United States and other drought-stricken regions of the world.
“Israel has been in drought since forever,” Arie Brish, a consultant to Israeli water authorities, said at a presentation at the SXSW Eco conference on Monday. “Today, most people in Israel, when they start their shower, there’s a pot to collect water and they use that water to water plants at home. It’s showers to flowers.”
The country also uses drip irrigation to send water directly to the roots of crops rather than spray water on the surface, where it evaporates. Nearly all the country’s gray water—from dishwashers, washing machines, and toilets—is recycled for irrigation.
(Texas, in contrast, only drip-irrigates about 3 percent of its crops, according to Kevin Wagner, associate director of the Texas Water Resource Institute, a state-chartered organization.)
Conservation may be ingrained in Israelis from childhood, but the construction of five massive desalinization plants since 2008 has allowed the country to become water-secure, according to Brish.
“Israel is now talking about exporting water to Turkey,” he said.