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Symposium 2011

Implementation - Measures by the Israeli Government to use recycled water for irrigation

The Challenge

Two fifths of the world’s population faces water shortages. During the coming decades, water scarcity is expected to rise as a result of a rapid increase in the demand for water due to population gr ...

Two fifths of the world’s population faces water shortages. During the coming decades, water scarcity is expected to rise as a result of a rapid increase in the demand for water due to population growth, urbanization and increasing consumption of water per capita. In addition, climate change is expected to influence the supply of water, modifying the regional distribution of freshwater resources.

Measures by the Israeli Government to use recycled water for irrigationAccording to Prof. Yacov Tsur, Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Management at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, "water reuse and recycling has been implemented in Israel for quite some time. Treated (recycled) water is now the main source of irrigation water in Israel, accounting for more than 50 percent of annual irrigation water supply. It is expected that in the next decade its share in total irrigation water supply will increase drastically. This is a direct consequence of population and economic growth, where the larger and wealthier population demands ever increasing quantities of fresh water and at the same time produces ever increasing quantities of sewage. "

In a Position Paper of June 2010 the OECD stated that: "The dominant environmental issue for the agricultural sector [in Israel] concerns its use of water resources, as agriculture accounts for over 50% of annual water consumption. Water policy reform have addressed the growing pressure on water resources, in part, by raising the real price of water charges to farmers so they reflect an increasing share of the full costs of supplying water to agriculture. This has helped toward more efficient use of water by agriculture, while the value of irrigated output per cubic of water applied has increased. The reforms have also had success in reducing the use of scarce freshwater resources by agriculture, while increasing the supply of recycled effluent water available to the sector."

Source
OECD, 7th March 2012, www.oecd.org/tad/agriculturalpoliciesandsupport/45189389.pdf
See also link to the draft report sent by Prof. Tsur. http://departments.agri.huji.ac.il/economics/teachers/kislev_yoav/English-Black-16-12-11.pdf

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