The Science and Technology Committee on Tuesday discussed ways to develop technological means that will help conserve water in the private and public spheres.
Tami Shor, Senior Deputy Director (Regulation) at the Water Authority, told the committee that “almost every addition of water in Israel comes from a desalination system. The main fear is that 2019 will be the sixth drought year and, as a result, in certain places there may be disruptions in the supply of water.”
Shor presented possible methods to conserve water, such as computerized systems for public gardening and the installation of faucet aerators in public institutions.
Committee Chairman MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) said, “Data presented to me by the Water Authority today indicate that the situation is grave, and we should all be concerned about the future of the water sector. God forbid we reach emergency situations where we will have to reduce the water supply for basic and essential things. Apart from praying for rain, we do not have the ability to change this valuable resource. The trick is to find creative solutions that will help store water or reduce water consumption.”
Maklev praised the Water Authority for its campaigns urging citizens to reduce water consumption. He said these campaigns “send a moral message of collective responsibility,” but stressed that alongside these efforts “we must implement technological developments. We must use innovation in order to save the water sector.”
Professor of Eran Friedler of the Coalition for Gray Water Recycling said, “Today there is already a surplus of wastewater. We have collected data showing that we will be able to deal with the growth of the population, which is expected to double, only by recycling water.”
The idea behind gray water reclamation is to simply get the most out of our water through reuse.
The water use in most homes is thought of in terms of clean white water coming in and sewage, or black water, going out. Gray water, as the name implies, is something in between. By most domestic definitions, gray water is tap water soiled by use in washing machines, tubs, showers and bathroom sinks. It’s not sanitary, but it’s also not toxic and generally disease free. Gray water reclamation is the process by which households make use of gray water’s potential instead of simply piping it into overburdened sewage systems with all the black water.
Maccabi Carasso, also a member of the Coalition for Gray Water Recycling, said “after all the talk, now we only have to decide that people who recycle gray water are not criminals. When the recycling gray water will be regulated and supervised, things will be resolved. It doesn’t cost the State of Israel one penny.”
In response, Shor said the Water Authority does not object to gray water recycling and that it is up to the Health Ministry to authorize it. “The State of Israel chose a different solution at the moment. We have other reserves to exhaust, and gray water is not what is needed right now on a national level,” she argued.
MK Yael Cohen Paran (Zionist Camp), chair of the Water Lobby in the Knesset, called to make use of all the means at Israel’s disposal in order to preserve the country’s water sector.