Thanks to Israel 21 C for this story.
“I’m a man on a mission,” says Seth Siegel, author of the newly released Let There be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press). “My goal is to raise consciousness about the danger of not having a plan to address the coming water crisis. Hundreds of millions of people could find themselves without adequate water in just a few years, and this is not as high a priority as it should be.”
The New York columnist, entrepreneur, branding guru and Broadway producer was surprised to discover the best working model of a water master plan in Israel.
Despite its desert terrain, rapid population growth and meager rainfall, Israel currently boasts a water surplus. It shares water with Jordan and the Palestinian-administered territories in the West Bank and Gaza. It exports water technologies worth $2.2 billion and growing.
Among Israel’s groundbreaking products and policies are drip irrigation and “fertigation,” dual-flush toilets, seawater desalination, advanced wastewater treatment and reuse, free-market pricing of water, drought-resistant seeds, cutting-edge metering and leak-detection systems, conservation education and precision agriculture.
“With a global water crisis looming, the Israeli inclination toward taking bold steps may be the most important contribution of its water philosophy to an increasingly water-starved world,” Siegel writes.
According to his book, more than 150 countries already have welcomed assistance from the Israeli government, private or nonprofit sectors to address their water problems. Israel provides training in water management and irrigation to its Palestinian and Jordanian neighbors and to more than 100 developing countries, 29 of them in Africa.
“Israel has gotten savvy about water use on just about every level, and it’s a remarkable story,” Siegel tells ISRAEL21c. “I had an ongoing feeling of excitement about telling an unknown story and being inspired at the same time. It was a reaffirmation of why Israel is special.”