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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘water’

Obama to Meet Putin at Paris Climate Change Conference

Monday, November 9th, 2015

On the surface, it seems odd that U.S. President Barack Obama and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin both are taking the time and trouble to attend a global climate change conference this month in Paris.

But both were asked to speak on the first day of a conference in which thousands from around the world are planning to participate. Both are also involved in a life-threatening battle in Syria that now appears to have spread to Egypt despite the best efforts of Western fighters.

It is possible — likely even — the two leaders may find time to discuss their mutual concerns while at the conference for climate control as well, albeit away from the very interested eyes of the media.

More than 100 other leaders of nations joined the two world leaders Sunday as they arrived in Paris to prepare the groundwork for the talks at the COP 21 event. The three-day conference is convened with the aim of reaching the most ambitious accord ever — aimed at limiting greenhouse emissions that cause global warming.

Despite being one of the driest nations in the world, has become a world leader in the management of precious ecological and environmental resources, particularly water.

The European Union Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen sat down with Avi Gabbay, Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister last week and ambassadors of EU member states for a working breakfast to prepare for the Paris conference.

Organizers are hoping to reach a new global climate deal at the conference by the time the event reaches its last day in December.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a win-win situation, for the environment and for the economy, in Israel and in the EU,” said Gabbay. “Governments and business leaders must work together to reduce emissions, and foster a global transition to a low-carbon economy. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the EU and its members on this issue,” he said.

“French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabian told international media that Putin accepted an invitation to speak on the first day of the conference, scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 11. He is to be joined by Obama, as well as the leaders of India and China on that first day, but the Kremlin has yet to confirm his participation, according to the Associated Press.

Some 40,000 people are expected to attend the gathering in addition to thousands of activists from the fields of human, environmental and ecological rights.

Israeli Scientists Find Coral Reefs Under Attack From Sun Screen

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

A new study published this week in the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology has found that a chemical widely used in personal care products such as sun screen, poses an ecological threat to corals and coral reefs, threatening their existence.

Oxybenzone (also known as BP-3; Benzophenone-3) is found in over 3,500 sun screen products worldwide. It pollutes coral reefs from swimmers wearing sun screens, and through wastewater discharges from municipal sewage spillage and from coastal septic systems.

The study comes less than two weeks after NOAA declared the third-ever global coral bleaching event and warned that locally produced threats to coral – such as pollution – stress the health of corals and decrease the likelihood that they will resist bleaching, or recover from it.

Toxic effects of the sun screen UV filter, oxybenzone, on coral planulae (baby coral) demonstrates that exposure of the coral to the chemical produces gross morphological deformities, damages their DNA, and, most alarmingly, acts as an endocrine disruptor.

The latter causes the coral to encase itself in its own skeleton leading to death. These effects were observed to be as low as 62 parts per trillion, the equivalent to a drop of water in six and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Measurements of oxybenzone in seawater within coral reefs in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands found concentrations ranging from 800 parts per trillion to 1.4 parts per million. This is over 12 times higher than the concentrations necessary to impact on coral.

The research team involved in the study included marine scientists from Israel, Virginia, Florida, the U.S. National Aquarium and the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Among the Israeli researchers were two from Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

Prof. Ariel Kushmaro is head of the Environmental Biotechnology Lab, The Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering, The Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology and National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev. Researcher Yona Lichtenfeld is a member of the university’s Department of Life Sciences.

“We have lost at least 80% of the coral reefs in the Caribbean,” warned lead study author Dr. Craig Downs of Haereticus Environmental Laboratory Virginia.

“Any small effort to reduce oxybenzone pollution could mean that a coral reef survives a long, hot summer, or that a degraded area recovers. Everyone wants to build coral nurseries for reef restoration, but this will achieve little if the factors that originally killed off the reef remain or intensify in the environment.”

Professor Kushmaro added, “There is widespread use of sun screens which utilize chemicals from the benzophenone group in sun and UV-intensive Israel. According to measurements not included in the article, similar concentrations of benzophenone have been found near the coral reefs in Eilat.

“Since it is likely that these chemicals are being washed off of swimmers’ bodies, it stands to reason that concentrations would be higher in swimming and snorkeling areas such as the coral reef reserve in Eilat,” the professor said.

The study found that oxybenzone is a photo-toxicant with adverse impacts exacerbated in light. But even in darkness, planulae were transformed from a motile (mobile) state to a deformed, sessile (immobile) condition and showed an increasing rate of coral bleaching in response to increasing concentrations of oxybenzone.

Between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sun screen lotion are leaked into coral reef areas each year, much of which contains between one and 10% oxybenzone, the researchers said.

They estimated this puts at least 10 percent of global reefs at risk of high exposure, based on reef distribution in coastal tourist areas. This study is one of less than two dozen scientific studies that closely examine the impact of personal care product ingredients on marine organisms and habitats.

Kibbutz Pool Cleaner ‘Dolphin’ Rakes in Rising Revenue

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

(JNi.media) On the same week Hamas claimed that their naval commandos have captured a a dolphin working in the service of the Mossad, equipped with a spying camera, Maytronics, a manufacturer of the Dolphin robotic pool cleaners, picked up close to $47 million in revenue, a 26% rise, in Q2 2015.


Globes, which reported the jump also noted that this was the company’s last quarter under CEO Yuval Beeri, who steps down next month after seven years at the helm. Maytronics, based in Kibbutz Yizre’el, near Afula, Israel, will hold a shareholders’ meeting next month to approve Beeri’s retirement package.

Beeri said “it is possible we will see a prolonged season due to the warm weather in Europe and the US.”

The same shareholders’ meeting will also be asked to approve the employment package for incoming CEO Eyal Tryber, who was vice president of sales marketing for the last seven years.

The pool cleaning robot, known as the Dolphin, crawls on the bottom of your swimming pool, removing debris and dust from the water and scrubbing the pool’s floor and walls—reducing the need for chemicals to clean the water. The Dolphin works its way in a straight line across the bottom of the pool, climbs up one side, and when it reaches the waterline turns down the next row.

According to the company, building on decades of expertise in automatic pool cleaners, every Dolphin combines advanced technologies with proven reliability so you can enjoy a constantly clean pool with little effort. Also: as pool owners’ needs change, new technologies and models that address new segments are added to the Dolphin line.

Three years ago, according to Ha’aretz, kibbutz Yizre’el turned down an offer to sell Maytronics for about $90 million, which was at least 27% more than its market value. Since then, the company’s value has risen to $220 million.

Screeching Muslim Women Assault Jewish Man Drinking Water

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

A Jewish man went to get a drink of water from the public water fountain while visiting the Temple Mount.

He was immediately assaulted by half a dozen screeching Muslim women, cursing everyone with their “Allahu Achbar”.

The police decided that the the problem was the thirsty Jewish man and told him to get a drink outside the Temple Mount.

Another Jewish man who did succeed in getting a drink was arrested.

The police have decided that Jews may not carry water with them when visiting the Temple Mount, and there are reports that the Muslims are shutting off the fountains during times when Jews are allowed to visit.

Does anyone else see a problem here?

Agritech Startups Showcase Technologies at AgriVest Conference

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Some of the most promising and innovative Israeli agritech startups pitched their technologies yesterday (April 27) at the third International AgriVest Conference held at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

The conference is an initiative of Invest in Israel, the investment promotion center at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, the Trendlines Group and Trendlines Agtech.

Some 350 business people, entrepreneurs, government officials, scientists and investors from Israel and abroad attended the conference.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Nitza Kardish, CEO of Trendlines Agtech called the AgriVest conference “a unique platform for Israeli startups and entrepreneurs to meet with investors and key people in the global agricultural industry.” Kardish said the gathering provided a place to “reveal the potential of investing in innovative developments.”

Chairman and CEO of the Trendlines Group Steve Rhodes added, “The global growth of investment in agritech 2014 reached a record breaking $2.36 billion raised which is testimony to positive trends in this sphere.”

The highlight of the conference was a competition between 12 Israeli startups out of 40 that applied for the privilege, who presented the newest innovations in Israel’s agricultural technology.

At the event DouxMax was crowned the winner following assessment and grading by the participants.

DouxMax has developed a method to create special, sweeter sugar in an effort to reduce the amount of sugar required in foods.

BioFishency, developers of an all-in-one water treatment system for land-based aquaculture was also awarded a prize for its system to increase the number of fish threefold while reducing water usage.

“AgriVest showcases technologies that will enable us to produce unique foodstuffs, additives, seeds and agricultural products to combat the stress on our dwindling natural resources,” said Gideon Soesman, co-founder and managing partner of GreenSoil Investments.

“Investing in new crops, treatment methods, waste reduction and yield enhancement will provide solutions to the world’s food crisis and can deliver sizable returns to investors.”

Israel To Double Water Supply For Gaza Despite Hamas Threats

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

(JNS.org) Israeli officials say they are doubling the amount of water the Jewish state provides to the Gaza Strip, despite ongoing threats from the Gaza-based Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) chief Major General Yoav Mordechai said that Israel would increase water supplies from 1.3 to 2.6 billion gallons to help ease the ongoing water crisis in Gaza.

A recent report by the Israeli non-governmental organization B’Tselem said that more than 90 percent of Gaza’s water is un-potable due to decades of over-pumping of Gaza’s coastal aquifer, the territory’s main water source, leading to contamination from seawater and saline groundwater as well as a lack of wastewater treatment.

Mordechai added that he hopes Hamas “would not steal water from civilians as they steal construction materials intended for the reconstruction of houses,” the Associated Press reported.

The news concerning Gaza’s water supply comes after a recent false report repeated by several news outlets, including Al-Jazeera and Agence France Presse (AFP), that Israel purposely opened dams in southern Israel and flooded parts of Gaza. No such dams exist in southern Israel. Al-Jazeera later retracted and apologized for the false reporting.

Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups such as Islamic Jihad regularly use building materials sent from Israel, such as concrete, for the construction of tunnels used to launch attacks inside of Israel.

Jordan, Israel Sign Historic Red Sea-Dead Sea Rescue Deal

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Jordanian and Israeli officials signed a multi-million dollar deal on Thursday to rescue the Dead Sea from oblivion. The ceremony took place on the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea, with Israel’s National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom signing on behalf of the Jewish State. His Jordanian counterpart, Water and Irrigation Minister Hazim el-Naser, signed on behalf of the Hashemite Kingdom.

The historic project began with a memorandum of understanding signed in Washington by Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian Authority leaders on Dec. 9, 2013.

The $800 million agreement authorizes the construction of a 65 to 80 million cubic meter capacity desalination plant in Aqaba, Jordan. The plant is to produce potable water that will benefit both nations.

In return for its purchase of some 45 m.cu.m. of potable water annually from Jordan, Israel will add 50 m.cu.m. To its current annual sale of water to Jordan from Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) in the north.

A 200-kilometer pipeline will supply Red Sea saltwater to replenish the shrinking waters of the Dead Sea, also benefiting both Israel and Jordan, whose borders share the shorelines of the lake on each side.

The memorandum of understanding worked out in 2013 also called for Israel to faciliate the direct sale of an additional 20 m.cu.m. of water from the Mekorot national water company to the Palestinian Authority.

Since the PA violated the terms of the Oslo Accords and unilaterally applied to the United Nations for membership as an independent Arab country – albeit within the current borders of Israel – many things have changed. The move circumvented any need to negotiate the issues of boundaries, security and economic or infrastructure issues with Israel and resulted in the two sides generally putting aside any further talk of joint projects.

“We are going to provide water from the Israeli system to the Palestinians at points where they need water, and we are going to start discussing with them as soon as possible,” Maya Eldar, an adviser to Minister Shalom told The Jerusalem Post.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jordan-israel-sign-historic-red-sea-dead-sea-rescue-dead/2015/02/27/

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