Monday, November 15, 2010

Maximising the Use of Waste Water

We are now in the middle of November and are still waiting for the first serious rains of the winter. The Sea of Galillee is fast approaching its black line, the line at which serious damage to the eco system will occur.

Desalination plants are coming on stream one by one, but the need to recycle waste water is paramount.

Out of a total of 500 million cubic meters (MCM) of sewage produced in Israel in 2008, about 70% of the effluents were reclaimed, a figure not many countries can claim to reach.

Local authorities are responsible for the treatment of municipal sewage. In recent years new or upgraded intensive treatment plants were set up in municipalities throughout the country. The ultimate objective is to treat 100% of Israel's wastewater to a level enabling unrestricted irrigation in accordance with soil sensitivity and without risk to soil and water sources.

Some Facts and Figures

500 MCM of wastewater were produced in Israel in 2008

31% MCM of the effluents underwent tertiary treatment (155 MCM)

55% of the wastewater underwent secondary treatment (275 MCM)

92% of the wastewater was adequately treated (460 MCM)

8% of the wastewater remained untreated.

We still need to pray for rain and after the current hot spell with temperatures in the 90's is due to end tomorrow, we have been told by the forecasters to expect rain. Let's hope they are right.


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I just visited Israel in October and was curious as to amount of water that I saw being wasted. I volunteered on an IDF base near the Golani Junction and was housed is a barracks. The men's shower (8 stalls) did not have a single showerhead. Water spewed directly from a 3/4-inch pipe. I would guess other showers on this base were the same. Having a showerhead greatly reduces the amount of water needed to shower.

While traveling in the north I would see large fields being watered by spraying machines hundreds of feet long. I realize, these fields could not be watered with drip irrigation but spraying during the day with temperatures in the 90s accounts a 40% loss to instant to evaporization to the air. Why aren’t these fields watered at night?

Lowell Nigoff
Lexington, KY USA

Haifa Diarist said...

Whilst there is still a lack of awareness in some areas, we are making a lots of progress.

According to recent figures, since the first half of 2008 when the average usage of water was 110 cubic metres per year per person, today this has fallen to 88 cubic metres and is continuing to fall.

Regarding watering the fields, the water authority tries to arrange watering that is NOT in the middle of the day. The problem is that they are unable to pump suffiient water if everyone waters at the same time. Each farmer is therefore allcated a speific time to water his fields, it is not a random decision of the farmer himself.

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mintradz said...

If Israel managed to treat 92% (460 million cubic meters) of their water last 2008. I think this can be done again in coming years. Moreover, we should be conserving rather that exploiting water now. Even companies who have wastewater treatment systems are experiencing water shortage in some countries.

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