Out of the 220 reservoirs that KKL-JNF has built throughout the country with the help of contributions worldwide, forty are reservoirs built specifically for trapping floodwaters in the north and south of the country, enabling life in the desert and the Arava. Examples for these include the following installments:
Zuqim and Hatzeva Reservoirs: The original Zuqim reservoir in the central Arava was established thanks to friends of JNF Canada. The reservoir had been widened and enlarged with the help of The Sapphire Society, JNF America. A state-of-the-art pumping system had been installed to bring the water into the regional water-supply system. The enlarged reservoir has a capacity of 850,000 cubic meters of water entering from the floods that stream through the riverbeds periodically. At such times, Mekorot, the national water company, does supplementary work installing equipment required to mix water from the reservoir with local brackish water for agricultural purposes.
Hazeva Reservoir in the Arava Valley collects floodwaters flowing through Negev streams in winter, which water is used for the irrigation of nearby fields thus saving water that would otherwise be piped from the north or pumped from local wells. Surplus water is pumped into the aquifer to replenish dwindling groundwater.
Ami Shaham, Head of the Arava Drainage Authority says: “The Zuqim reservoir is one of five reservoirs along Nahal Ha’arava itself: "Eshet", "Zuqim", "Niqrot", "Hatzeva" and "Eidan". These are “overflow” reservoirs that water flows into during flooding. The first reservoir then fills up and surplus water spills out into the riverbed, flowing into the next reservoir. The reservoirs were built in the direction of the water flow from south to north. Every additional drop of water contributes to creating new fields and sources of livelihood, so that the youth will stay in the region and new people will be able to come. KKL-JNF is the Arava’s hope for development and growth.”
Betarim Floodwater Reservoir: Thanks to friends of KKL-JNF Switzerland, KKL-JNF will participate in building a 400,000-cubic meter floodwater reservoir to collect floodwater that flows into Nahal Betarim. This northern Negev reservoir will prevent flooding of the Be'er Sheva-Shoket highway and furthermore, it will not be sealed so that its surplus water can recharge the underground water. The reservoir is part of an ecological-tourist project where scenic landscaping is planned for a 14-square kilometer area to Shoket Junction that will include local plants and a scenic lookout through the woods overlooking the reservoir.