While North Americans are having trouble finding places to store all their frozen precipitation (i.e. snow), Israel is experiencing its lowest annual rainfall in recorded history.
This wouldn’t be so bad if Israel were the type of place where politicians pay attention to trends and engage in advance planning. If it were, the plans for desalination plants would have been completed on schedule well in advance of this drought year. But instead, after a single rainy winter, Israel’s “leaders” scrapped the spendy plans in favor of putting all their trust in continued generous rainfall.
Someone on the Efrat chat list recently posted a website he has created called “Save the Kinneret dot com.” (Kinneret is Hebrew for the Sea of Galilee.) It includes a very worrisome chart of falling water level in the Kinneret, as well as concrete suggestions for how to reduce household water consumption. While campaigns to encourage householders to conserve water have been successful in the past, Israel’s citizenry should not wait until the government asks them to conserve water; we live in a desert and should use water sparingly as a general practice. Although Israelis often complain that agriculture and industry use too much water, household water use accounts for half of the water consumption in Israel. Israel needs to conserve its water not only for its own use, but for the peace with Jordan, which costs Israel an annual 10 million cubic meters of water.
Israelis and anyone else living in a drought area can benefit from the water-saving tips on this website. Kol hakavod to its creator!