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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘water’

Turtle Washed Ashore

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

My friend David Goldberger sent me this image of an sea turtle that was washed ashore Monday on the Netnaya beach, just south of the Carmel Hotel.

Is the water polluted? he wanted to know. Does this pose dangers we are unaware of?

According to Yaniv Levy, manager of the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center at Michmoret, a few miles north of Netanya on the Mediterranean coast, some 2,000 to 3,000 turtles used to nest along Israel’s shores at the turn of the 20th century. Now the numbers are down to about 180 loggerheads and fewer than 20 green turtles, and he estimates that only 10 green females in Israel are capable of egg laying.

According to Levy, the turtles face many dangers: pollution, plastic bags and other litter; outboard motors and fishing nets; jeeps hurtling along beaches. About 50 injured turtles are brought to the Rescue Center every year, most of them victims of human activity.

“We treat injured turtles and return them to the sea, gather and incubate eggs before returning the hatchlings to the beaches, raise public awareness of the issue and help preserve the coastline and establish coastal nature reserves,” Levy says.

(Source: A battle of survival for the Med’s sea turtles)

Israeli Scientists Offer Solution to Famine

Monday, August 19th, 2013

An Israeli team of scientists has developed a new technology which may minimize famine and strife by enabling crops to weather droughts worldwide.

Professor Shimon Gepstein, Chancellor of the Kinneret College, is leading a team to genetically engineer a plant that can withstand droughts by “freezing itself” after not receiving water for a certain period of time, and then “returning to life” after the water supply is renewed, without incurring any damage to the plant’s physical structure.

A spokesman for the Kinneret College told Tazpit News Agency that the findings already are being implemented and that international firms have expressed interest in the technology.

The finding was discovered by chance while running experiments on prolonging plants’ longevity and the shelf-life of vegetables. Experimenting on tobacco leaves, the scientists were able to develop a plant that lives twice as long as the average tobacco plant, providing flowers and fruits long after the regular plants have withered and died. When the tips of the leaves were cut off, the regular plants yellowed and died after a week, whereas the genetically engineered plants stayed green for a full 21 days.

The breakthrough was revealed when some of the plants were left in the green house unattended for four weeks. Tobacco plants require watering every two to three days.

When the team discovered that the unaltered plants had not lost their vitality, it decided on a series of monitored tests on regular and engineered plants that were not watered for three weeks. The regular plants died, and the engineered plants once again began to grow after receiving water, having incurred no damage during the “drought.”

The new technology, if successful commercially, would create a revolution as scientists forecast that climate changes will increase the number and severity of worldwide droughts.

In Israel and other arid areas, wheat planted at the beginning of the winter and the developing shoots after early rain will be able to survive a drought afterwards.

The new technology also could alleviate a growing global water shortage. The plants that survived the experiment used only one-third of the usual amount required.

U of Chicago Teams up with Ben Gurion for Clean Water

Monday, June 24th, 2013

The University of Chicago and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will begin funding research collaborations that apply the latest discoveries in nano-technology to create new materials and processes for making clean, fresh drinking water more plentiful and less expensive by 2020.

The joint projects will explore innovative solutions at the water-energy nexus, developing more efficient ways of using water to produce energy and using energy to treat and deliver clean water.

“We feel it is critical to bring outstanding scientists together to address water resource challenges that are being felt around the world, and will only become more acute over time,” said University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer.

Despite Calls to End Peace, Israel Increases Water Flow to Jordan

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Here’s some good news to those of you who’ve been following the vote in the Jordanian parliament on Wednesday, to demand that King Abdullah expel the Israeli envoy scrap the peace treaty with Israel.

That treaty, signed back in 1994 on the White House lawn, by his Majesty, the late King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister, the late Yitzhak Rabin, with U.S. President Bill Clinton watching – that treaty regulates the use of regional water by both countries. It’s all in Article 6 of the treaty, which is bigger than all the rest of the 30 articles put together.

The reason is simple: much of the water—just about all of it, really—alongside the border between the two countries happens to be in Israeli territory. Without that water, Jordan goes back to being the proud desert country it’s always been, which is fine if you’re Bedouin, but not so great if you’re a farmer.

Here’s what can happen, should Jordan decide to scrap its peace treaty with Israel: it would have to do without the following items:

Israel accepted responsibility for operating, supplying and maintaining systems on Israeli territory that supply Jordan with water.

In the summer, May 15 to October 15 of each year, Israel agreed to transfer 20 million cubic meters from the Jordan River directly upstream from Deganya gates.

In the winter, October 16 to May 14 of each year, Jordan is entitled to a minimum average of 20 million cubic meters of the floods in the Jordan River south of the Yarmouk. Unusable excess floods that would otherwise be unused, including pumped storage, can also be taken by Jordan.

In addition, Israel agreed to share the Yarmouk River with Jordan. Anything above 12 million cubic meters in the summer and 13 million in winter goes to Jordan.

When you hear about the Kinneret water going below all kinds of red lines? It’s because they’re being diverted north of the lake, at a rate of up to 50 million cubic meters a year.

OK, that was the deal, we wanted a peace treaty and that’s what we had to pay for it. The fact is that Israel’s relations with Jordan are a whole lot warmer than with Egypt—until the Arab Spring thing hits Amman, of course.

But now the Jordanian parliament—which is largely Palestinian, incidentally—has reacted to the fact that Israel, in an unprecedented display of courage, decided to detain the Jerusalem Mufti for his blatant preaching of violence against the Jews. If the Israelis don’t let our holy guy preach murder, we’re scrapping the treaty.

The treaty that’s the life blood of Jordan’s economy—in addition to supplying Jordan with much of its water, much of Jordan’s industry is owned by Israeli tycoons, who relocated factories from Israel, where organized Jewish workers used to burden them with demands for benefits and realistic wages—to Jordan, where a working man gets a pitta and a couple of onions which he shares with his family of 15.

Now, what did Israel just do, following the Jordanian parliament’s threat to call it quits?

Amb. Oded Eran

Amb. Oded Eran

Oded Eran, Israel’s ambassador to Jordan, was interviewed on Reshet Bet Thursday morning, and he said that Israel has increased the amount of water it diverts to the Hashamite kingdom, in order to accommodate the numerous refugees flooding Jordan from Syria.

Talk about doing the decent Christian thing…

Or treasonous. Potato-potato.

Ambassador Eran also said Israel also allows Jordan to export its goods to the West through the port of Haifa.

The benefits of peace.

So the host, Ya’akov Achi-Meir, asked him how that sits with the recommendation of the Jordanian parliament to kick him out of the country, and the ambassador answered that once the peace process with the Palestinians is on its way, things in Jordan would calm down.

According to Ambassador Eran, the Jordanian government is on very friendly terms with Israel, it’s only the vast population that wants all of us dead.

Now, here’s the zinger: according to Reshet Bet, Israeli sources have said that Israel has increased the amount of water it transfers to Jordan and the Palestinian Authority recently regardless of the increase in the number of refugees from Syria in Jordan.

The Kinneret Continues to Rise

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Just since Monday, the Kinneret rose another 2 centimeters to 210.445 meters below sea level, and is now standing at 255 centimeters above the lower red line.

In the past 6 days the Kinneret has risen 11 centimeters.

Postcard From Israel: Stormy Weather (Photos & Video)

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

As readers may have heard, Israel (along with other countries in the Middle East) has been experiencing unusually stormy weather this last week with high winds and heavy rains. The more unpleasant aspects of these comparatively rare events have included disruptions to the transport system and homes affected by flooding, with the IDF’s search and rescue teams being called in to evacuate people trapped by flood waters both in Israel and in the PA-controlled areas .

The weather system culminated with much anticipated snow in Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and many of the higher areas throughout Israel – including the Negev desert – causing great excitement in a country where this is a fairly rare occurrence.  Equally exciting has been the dramatic rise in the water level of the Sea of Galilee, which climbed by almost 70 cms between the storm’s beginning last Friday and its subsidence on Thursday.

The short film below, made by Oz Segev of Ma’ale Gamla on Monday morning, shows some of the swollen streams of the south and central Golan Heights which all drain into the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). In order of appearance the film shows the Daliyot stream, the Yehudia stream, the Meshushim stream, the Jordan Park junction at the top of the lake, the upper Meshushim stream, the Aiyt waterfall, the Bnei Israel reservoir and a view from Ma’ale Gamla.

SONY DSC

Tsfat (Safed) with a dusting of snow

Visit CifWatch.

The Blessings of Rain

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

It starts to rain in Israel, if we are lucky, some time in late October or November. If we are less blessed, it will start in December. January sees rainfall, as does February. By March, we know we’re near the end and by April it’s over. May, June, July, August, September (and usually October) – no rain – often not a single time, once in a while there’ll be a short rain – sometimes not even that.

The winter in Israel is spent watching the level of the Sea of Galilee – as it rises, we know we’ll have water for the coming dry months. Early in the winter, meteorologists will predict a wet winter, a dry one, a warm one, a cold one. Sometimes, you don’t even hear their prediction. This has been a good year – so far…though  much is still needed to take us out of the perpetual drought we have been in for over a decade. In all of the years I have been in Israel, not once has the level of the Sea of Galilee reached over capacity. There are provisions for this happening – huge flood gates that can be opened, sending water down through the Jordan Valley and into the dying Dead Sea.

Last year was adequate – this year, we still wait to hear. The winter is probably about half-over but we think in terms of days. In the last few days, the Sea of Galilee has risen an amazing 22 centimeters – I don’t know if you can imagine what that means. Yesterday it rained; today it is raining. Tomorrow and the next day, they are predicting more rain and even snow in some areas.

People are complaining about floods and traffic and the cold and through it all, there is this amazing joy. People will say, “it’s miserable out there, thank God.” Each drop is a blessing, a gift. In Israel, from a young age, we teach our children two things about water – don’t waste it, and always carry it with you. My children go with bottles of water – the heat in the summer can be very dangerous and they need to carry water with them. They shut the water when they soap themselves up in the shower; they shut the water when they are brushing their teeth. You don’t waste water in Israel. If you peel potatoes into a pot of water so they don’t turn colors – you walk outside and pour the pot of water into the garden.

As we drove into Jerusalem today, the water was flowing over the hills, pouring down the rocks, forming a river on the side of the road. Lauren tried to get a picture but the camera focused on the drops on the window instead. “Open the window,” said Davidi.

Both my daughter-in-law Lauren and I thought that was a bad idea – she’d be soaked, as would the car! But a neighbor managed to capture the power of the water. This is today’s blessing from God to a land that He loves, and a land that loves Him.

The Kinneret is Rising

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

In the past 24 hours, the Kinneret rose 22 centimeters. At it’s last measurement, it was at 211.50 meters below sea level. With the rainstorm currently hitting Israel, the Kinneret is expected to rise even higher.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/the-kinneret-is-rising/2013/01/08/

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