International Water Initiatives

Israel is recognized as a world leader in managing scarce water resources, recycling, re-using wastewater and similar fields. Much of this information has been researched and implemented by KKL-JNF, who is happy to share knowledge with other countries and professional bodies throughout the world. With the help of its friends worldwide, KKL-JNF is at the forefront of innovative solutions to Israel's water crisis, including building water reservoirs, developing biological water technologies to purify wastewater for reuse, and river restoration.

 

Orvim Reservoir. KKL Photos Archive.
Orvim Reservoir. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive
KKL-JNF, as Israel’s major environmental organization, provides the platform for cooperation between experts from Israel and from around the world, for the benefit of all parties involved.
 
Utilizing urban runoff has the potential to supply tens of millions of cubic meters of water annually. Utilizing this water however, requires a sophisticated purification system as a biofilter. KKL-JNF gathered water experts to formulate recommendations for integrating the system in Israel’s urban infrastructure, creating water sensitive cities. 
 
Canada and Israel are in an ongoing exchange of information regarding their identical problems in preserving water sources and removing pollutants from natural bodies of water (rivers, lakes and aquifers). These shared interests speedily led to regular, permanent, joint research.  As part of this cooperation, the Manitoba-Israel Water Symposium convenes periodically.
 

H2010 symposium. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive

 
One of the actions was the signing of a partnership agreement between Lake Agmon and the Oak Hammock Wetlands in Manitoba. Information is exchanged in fields such as scientific research, visitor center management and activities for the public.
 
Together with the State of Manitoba in Canada, KKL-JNF is working to advance the field of water management in large reservoirs.The first proposed project is the construction of a greenhouse in northern Manitoba aimed at producing fresh vegetables for First Nations inhabitants.
 
A formal document for research collaboration between KKL-JNF and the Alberta Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation was signed in May 2005 in order to support research in the field of water by teams from both countries. Several research projects have since been approved for funding.
 
Research and professional ties are intensively underway with the Manitoba Ministry of Water Stewardship. These include the sponsorship of a Water Symposium in Manitoba with Israeli researchers attending, the funding of collaborative research, and the establishment of a program to bring exchange students from Manitoba to study water related subjects in Israel.

Water Sensitive Cities

 
Every year, about 200 million cubic meters of polluted runoff water are absorbed by the sewage system and channeled to the sea. When water is found in close proximity to where it will ultimately be used and is in good quality, it is important for nearby cities to be water sensitive.  A water sensitive city is a term referring to a city which has a system to manage the journey of water through urban and built-up environments to support the natural environment and the water's natural rural destination. Such a change in water management makes use of the natural movement of water and harvests, channels and stores the water that is found in urban regions and takes advantage of it. Water sensitivity upholds three main principles that support its foundation:

 
  • Diversity of supply scales, mainly by harvesting water as a resource that needs to be protected

 

  • Providing ecosystem services using the built environment functions to support the functions of the natural environment

 

  • A water sensitive community aware of the water crisis and the existing technology to preserve it

 

The biolfilter system is one of the methods making use of runoff water and reintroducing it into the aquifer for urban use after purification.

 

KKL-JNF is leading the process together with JNF Australia and Monash University in Australia, whose staff developed this method of purifying urban runoff. This process is being handled by a steering committee comprised of representatives of KKL-JNF, the Israel Water Authority, Mekorot Water Company and the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

 

KKL-JNF's Water Sensitive Cities Conference. Photo: KKL-JNF Photo Archive