Whether it’s building out five desalination plants to pre-empt and overcome water scarcity, to recycling over three quarters of its wastewater for irrigation, Israel has always been progressive in building a solid water sector.
A senior figure from the Middle East nation's government has indicated that the amount of wastewater reused has actually reached a staggering high 90%.
Israel's Minister of Strategic Affairs & Public Diplomacy, Gilad Erdan, said: “Today, nearly 90% of our waste water is recycled.”
Speaking at the CSR Experience Conference held in Israel, the minister said: “That's around four times higher than any other country in the world. It is a remarkable achievement and this benefits not only Israel. Israeli companies are helping save water around the world, from Africa to California to India.”
Previous data from Israeli water company Mekorot suggested that 630 million cubic meters of effluent were reused for agriculture, comprising 75% of total wastewater produced.
However, last year a survey conducted by the water authority showed that 85.6% of the country’s wastewater is reused so the figure quoted by Minister Erdan suggests this has increased.
Earlier this year WWi magazine interviewed lawyer and activist Seth Siegel about the topic of wastewater reuse in Israel, covered in his book ‘Let there be water’. The full interview can be seen below:
Drip and irrigation company Netafilm and Mekorot were noted during the event for their sustainability and innovation.
Israel has been credited with being a top innovator in the field of clean technologies by the Global Cleantech 100 Index.
“Israel is innovative, creative and dynamic and has more high-tech startups per capita than anywhere else in the world,” Erdan added. “And these startups in large part are not only focused on creating high profits, but also finding ways to solve the world's most pressing problems.”
Elsewhere, water reclamation is well established in Namibia, China and Singapore. In the latter, reused wastewater is expected to provide 55% of total water demand by 2060.
Meanwhile, across Europe Cyrpus and Malta reuse more than 90% and 60% of their wastewater respectively, while Greece, Italy and Spain reuse between 5 and 12% of their effluents, according to data from the European Commission.