Those same freshwater streams that lie in the heart of Israel’s crowded center obligate KKL-JNF to encourage personal and community involvement in their ongoing planning and management. The KKL-JNF sees the streams’ environments as total and complex ecosystems, the balance between whose components must be preserved. Israel’s freshwater streams play an important role as buffer zones between urban blocs, and they make an important contribution to shaping the relationship between Israel’s open spaces and built-up zones. Therefore their rehabilitation must improve, and subsequently preserve and maintain this delicate relationship. Furthermore, streams play a vital and central role in the drainage of floodwaters. Therefore, their rehabilitation must combine all of the above-stated functions in planning and implementation.
The rehabilitation of Israel’s freshwater stream requires the preservation of their Mediterranean character, manifested in the abundance of water in the winter (flooding) and the gradual lessening of water during the dry season. This seasonal hydrological model is the foundation for the unique biological dynamic of freshwater streams in our region. The creek bed is accompanied by the unique properties of the land, which is also an integral part of the stream’s ecosystem.
The stream rehabilitation process is a prolonged one, stretching over years, and its success depends upon a combination of activities and pollution prevention measures along its drainage basin. Furthermore, it is a process that crosses borders and requires the addressing of pollution sources along the entire drainage path, including some lying in jurisdictions that are not under Israel’s administration or sovereignty. The KKL-JNF will take on part of these activities as per its budgetary and professional capacity, including improving water quality.
The Israel Stream Authority was established in 1985 to advance cooperation between various bodies whose objective is to bring about the successful restoration of Israel’s freshwater streams. As an organization with professional expertise and operational capabilities at its disposal, that is prepared to lead the national rehabilitation effort and cooperate with all parties involved, the KKL-JNF remains committed to joint activity with government agencies, local governments, public interest groups, scientists, and private partners to advance stream rehabilitation.
As such, a distinction must be drawn between rehabilitation of year-round streams, whose clean water flow must be restored, and seasonal streams, wherein rehabilitation must focus on natural systems. Despite the fact that seasonal streams differ in character from perennial streams, many of the KKL-JNF’s stream rehabilitation principles apply equally to seasonal streams.
The KKL-JNF’s freshwater stream restoration policy is founded on the four cornerstones of sustainable development: ecology, economics, social welfare, and inter-generational responsibility.