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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What can the government of Israel do to solve the water crisis

Israel suffers greatly from lack of water.

This is the case for many years now, and from one year to another the government is doing more and more to solve it. By "doing more and more" I mean pass on the blame and the responsibility to the citizens.

Now they have a big campaign featuring all greatest Israeli celebrities, telling us to save water; telling that we must stop watering our gardens; asking to shower less. Before we'll know it they'll limit our tap water drinking.

This is, of course, useless and idiotic. It won't help even a tiny bit. This is the same as doing micro-optimization to a monkey-sort algorithm. This is because the reason to this water crisis lies mainly on the fact that the population growing while the amount of water in our reservoirs stays the same (in the good case) or lowers (in the bad, current, case).

Now, what can really be done to solve that crisis? Understanding the reasons, quite a few things:
  1. Fixing Pipes - As what I've read, many of the main water pipes in Israel are leaking. In the announcements they tell us to close and fix leaking taps. A leaking tap costs us about three or four liter of water a day. A leaking main pipe costs us much more than that. I roughly assume between ten times more for a small pipe and a thousand times more for a big, central one.
  2. Desalination - This is the most important one of all. Different versions of it will appear in some other suggestions. This one is the only action that can be taken that actually creates new drinking water out of bad water. Actually, there are some desalination devices used in Israel, but not enough. It seems like the bureaucracy is killing every new attempt to build new desalination devices. It is claimed that it takes about five years to build one, so the required authorizations are rarely granted, given the government is replaced every four years in the good case.
  3. Recycling - Yes, water can be recycled. Actually, today, much of the water for agriculture are recycled water. The idea is that instead of sending all used water to the draining system, we clean them a bit (so they're not good for drinking) then re-use them to water fields. The same thing is also done in some water-smart buildings, where used water are re-used to fill toilet tanks. I say the government should demand that every new building would be built with such a system installed.
  4. Mineral Water - There are three main companies that produce bottled mineral water in Israel. These are very good water, that most of the citizens can only buy for a great cost in bottles. I think the government should limit the amount of bottles produced every year, higher the cost of local production by taxing that companies per liter, and encourage importing of bottled water, by lowering import tax for water. In addition, state in law that every place that sells bottled water must sell at least one brand of imported water. Oh, and forbid exporting of local water products.
  5. Collecting Rain - Well, here we get a bit into micro-optimization, except this one is actually feasible. We can collect rain water not only in special reservoirs dug for that purpose, but using the roads and roofs draining system. Come to think about it, there is rarely anything bad in water dripping on roofs and roads. This is usually rain water, and there is always a special draining system built for each roof and on each road. Those draining system go usually to the sewer, but it is possible to collect it to reservoirs. Those doesn't have to be open reservoirs. They can be closed and underground. Still they are reservoirs, and they will get filled in the few rains we have each winter.

Well, these are my ideas for solving the water crisis. Not all are original, but I figured I'd put them all in one place, and maybe something will be done about it someday.

Please feel free to comment and to suggest new ideas.


  1. In addition I get some solutions too:

    Since the 60 years - the State of Israel takes the methods of "squeezing" through the Clouds
    "Sowing Clouds". Aircraft spread Iodid money clouds to create nuclear
    Eddie condensation of water inside the artificial cloud. Condense around the nuclear crystallization
    Large, heavy drops of water. Due Covdn Logout clouds are raining.
    According to estimates, sowing Clouds increases in the amount of precipitation - 15% -18%

  2. ניצול יעיל של הנגר - תפיסת מי שיטפונות

    בעיה נוספת נוגעת לניצול מי הנגר העילי )=המים שזורמים על פני השטח(.
    באזור הנגב, למשל, הקרקע היא על פי רוב קרקע לס. טיפות הגשם
    הראשונות היורדות על פני הקרקע גורמות לאטימתה ,ומשקעים נוספים
    אינם מסוגלים לחלחל לתוכה. כשהמים אינם יכולים לחלחל, הם זורמים
    על פני השטח .את התוצאות אנו רואים בשיטפונות הפוקדים את האזורים
    הללו. באזורים שבמרכז הארץ אמנם ייתכן חלחול של מים, אבל משקעים
    רבים שמצטברים באגני הניקוז גורמים להצפת אפיקי הנחלים, ושוב
    מתרחשת הצפה של אגן הניקוז, או זרימה גדולה של המים אל הים. לשם
    תפיסה ואגירה של מי השיטפונות הוקמו בישראל כמה מפעלים. למשל -
    ברמת מנשה, נחל שקמה ונחל הבשור.
    במרכז הארץ אנו נתקלים בבעיה נוספת. בדורות האחרונים הלבשנו את
    הארץ ב"שלמת בטון ומלט". כיסוי הבטון הזה מונע מהמשקעים לחדור
    לתהום, והנזק כפול: המים זורמים על פני השטח ומציפים את האזור, ופחות
    מים מגיעים אל מאגרי מי התהום. הפתרון לבעיה זו טמון בתכניות המתאר
    האזוריות והארציות ןבהקפדה על המשתמע מהן: יש להשאיר שטחים
    פתוחים גם בתוך אזורים הבנויים בצפיפות. כן יש להפריד הפרדה מוחלטת
    בין רשתות הניקוז לרשתות הביוב העירוני, וכך יהיה אפשר לנצל את מי
    המשקעים ולהחזירם אל מי התהום.