Israeli Experts Offer California Advice on Saving Water

Jerusalem water fountain (Menahem Kahana / AFP / Getty)
Menahem Kahana / AFP / Getty

A team of water technology experts from Israel is helping California battle the state’s crippling drought problem by offering ways to implement water conservation. The experts spoke in Sacramento on Thursday to offer their insights, experiences and tips.

Close to 80% of the water that is used in the largely aris nation of Israel comes from wastewater that is treated and reused, according to Sivan Cohen, who spoke with local NBC News affiliate in Sacramento, KCRA3. Cohen is the director of business development for Israel-based water monitoring solutions company Ayyeka.

California and Israel are similar in terms of weather, and Israel’s advanced technology could help California tremendously as it seeks to pull itself out of a drought that could last for another 20 years. Israel is already using five desalinization plants to convert saltwater into drinking water. However, that process is much more costly–and California has over 38 million people, nearly four times Israel’s 8 million-person population.

The state’s water wars have also become intensely political with Democrats pushing hard to block Republicans seeking the construction of more dams in order to store rain water for human consumption. The state’s Democratic leaders object on environmental grounds, and say more storage would be too costly.

“We’re not going to be able to build more storage overnight,” Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), who is the chair of the Assembly Parks and Wildlife Committee, told KCRA News. He pointed to greater conservation efforts instead and to making use of alternate methods like using recycled waste water; a method that has been used for at least the past seven years in Republican stronghold Orange County.

A great deal of California’s water waste problems also stem from leaky, old pipes that badly need replacing. Israel has reportedly mastered this by using an acoustic network of sensors to identify leaks and keep water loss to a minimum, KCRA notes.

In February, over 100,000 gallons of water flooded a Hollywood Hills home. Last July, over 10 million gallons of water flooded UCLA in what was widely seen as the largest water main break in Los Angeles history. And this past September, the infamously wild Playboy Mansion was one of approximately 20 homes to be drenched after a water main broke on Sunset Boulevard.

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