The drought in California. (Photo:

Fighting global hunger? Helping cure Ebola? Israel to the rescue, now with technology that will help California contend with the worst drought in its history.

California has been facing one of the most severe droughts in its recorded history. Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January and directed state officials to take all necessary action to prepare for water shortages.

In the meantime, California has turned to Israel for solutions.

Last year, Brown and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the sharing of technology and enhancing economic interests between California and Israel. It turns out that this agreement has significantly benefited California.

Professor Eilon Adar, director of Ben Gurion University’s (BGU) Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZWIR), is visiting California to share technology and experience working with scarce water resources.

Israeli Know-How to the Rescue

Among the sciences and technologies practiced at ZWIR are water desalination, water engineering, environmental hydrology, hydro-geology, hydro-biology, hydro-chemistry and water resource economics and management. Adar is hoping to harness this knowledge to help alleviate California’s crisis.

“If we managed to overcome our water problems in Israel, in the Middle East, it can be done almost anywhere else in the world,” Adar said. “However, in order to improve the water management and efficiency in California, the water utility companies need to increase their coordination and cooperation on water use and treatment.”

Israel, through its existence as a modern state, has faced many water-related challenges and has been extremely successful in making its desert region, the Negev, bloom.

“As an issue of national security, Israel has successfully made itself water independent,” said California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird. “With a similar climate, California is poised to benefit greatly from Prof. Adar and researchers at Ben-Gurion University as we plan for ways to better manage water, particularly in times of severe drought.”

World Class Water Solutions

Ben-Gurion University (BGU) has a history of collaborating with the Americans on providing solutions to water-related predicaments. BGU and the University of Chicago signed an agreement in June 2013 to engage in collaborative water research. This agreement is part of a joint Israeli-American effort to find a solution to the global water crisis by developing less expensive and more environmentally efficient water resources.

BGU President Rivka Carmi stated at the time that “the scarcity of water is a source of political crises [and] uncontrolled immigration. This is something central that the world is really looking at – providing inexpensive fresh water.”

Israel has provided technological solutions to surmount water-related obstacles to China and San Diego and has received world-class awards for its efforts.

Author: United with Israel Staff

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