So the elections are over, until the next time. some say it will be within the next 18 months!! All the so-called experts are giving the benefit of their “experience” and serving to confuse the issue further.
The issue of security is uppermost in most people’s minds but one matter seems to have been avoided by all the candidates and that issue is WATER.
The Sea of Galilee is at an all time low, the rains of this winter are drastically below what we need, agriculture is going to suffer further this year and yet where were the budding politicians words on this most delicate issue.
It is said that average January rainfall represents 40% of our needs. This year instead of 325 million cubic meters of rainfall, we got less than 50. Our agreement with Jordan requires that we allocate the Jordanians part of the water resources and so just where is the plan for the future?
The country currently needs of the order of 850 million cubes of water per year from the Sea of Galilee and the various aquifers along the coastal region. With rainfall at the levels of the last few years, we can barely provide 250-300 million cubic meters.
So what is to be done? Well there are plans but these needs to be put into operation. Two operating desalination plants are today producing 135 million cubic meters and there are tenders out for quotation to increase their capacity to 150 million cubic meters by the end of this year. An additional plant at Hadera is to nearing completion later this year and will give an additional 100 million cubic meters expanding to 127 million cubic meters shortly thereafter.
Another plant at Ashdod with a capacity of 100 mill c.m. will not be completed before 2011 and further south yet another new plant of 150 mill c.m. is slated for completion in 2012. This last plant will be the biggest reverse osmosis plant in the world.
Meanwhile the treatment of waste water continues to increase and to provide agriculture with some of its needs as does the use of brackish water.
And for the man in the street? Well, gardens cannot be watered and the use of hose pies for washing cars is prohibited and although some are still ignoring these restrictions, the awareness of the need to save is mounting.