Israel..a water power.

Back in the 1930’s British economists put it out there that the Jewish and Palestinian area that is now Israel had enough water to support a maximum 2 million people. So how does an area that is 60% desert, with a population increase of 10x since 1948 become a water exporter. The have enough water to export water to the Palestinians and Jordan. As well ,Israel exports billions of dollars of peppers, tomatoes, melons and other water intensive produce.

How did Israel do this? Early leaders recognized the importance of water. Centralized water planning was instigated, water prices were real, regulators were appointed, the citizens were educated to conserve, they desalinated sea water, drip irrigation was instituted, and all sewage was treated and recycled for the crops.

…and so a water power was born.

Being in a relatively arid area help people in the area be aware of water issues going back a long way. In the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods water laws developed pertaining to the specific ownership of wells, rules regarding public water pipes, canals, and reservoirs. Rights of travelers to water holes was dealt with, pollution at water holes was not allowed, sewage must be kept away. It sounds like the people who live in the present day Israel were primed for centuries as to the crucial importance of water as a resource.

 

Against the odds, with a growing population, growing economy,and a drop in rainfall Israel has become a world leader in water management. Unlike some of their neighbors they do not have a water crisis.

 

Certainly there are concerns as most wells are used for drinking water and irrigation. There is a fear that as waste water is returned to the fields, over time it makes the earth salinated and causes a drop off in agriculture.

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