Cooperation between India and Israel on the water front has been on the rise and Israel had partnered with India during the India Water Week held earlier this year. Israel is also India’s strategic partner in the field of agriculture and the two countries have together established the Indo-Israel Agricultural Project (IIAP) which led to establishing several centers of excellence for agriculture research and development. There are about 29 centers of excellence across nine states that have been working together to help farmers benefit from research on crop diversity, increased productivity and efficient use of resources.
Israel, which was once a water-deficit country, claims to be water surplus now. Sources in the Israel embassy here said that Israel now has so much water that it can export water to other countries. During a recent event in Bangalore called “Open a Door to Israel”, the country’s consulate general showcased advanced technologies Israel has achieved in the field of water conservation. Apparently, such technologies can be used to mitigate crisis like the recent Cauvery water dispute which has seen Karnataka and Tamil Nadu at loggerheads with each other.
Ziv Shalvi, Deputy Chief of Mission, Consulate General of Israel, said that in India, a lot of water gets wasted due to flooding of the fields; instead, the drip method, by which the right amount of water is given to the crops thus saving a lot of water, should be used. “Israel being an arid region… created innovative solutions to tackle water scarcity and water quality even in difficult climatic conditions,” a spokesperson of the Israel Embassy said.
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According to inputs from the Embassy, exports from the Israeli water industry stand at about $1.4 billion annually, according to a 2010 report. There are over 600 Israeli companies active in this field, including about 100 start-up companies, offering a variety of products and technologies designed to meet the needs of a wide spectrum of customers. The spokesperson of the Israel Embassy said: “An important field in which Israel essentially has the sole experience in the world is wastewater treatment, purification and water reuse for agriculture and industry. Israel has been reusing its wastewater for agricultural irrigation for over 60 years and now reuses over 75% of its wastewater. Israel is willing to help countries with technology and research on water conservation,” the spokesperson added.
Among the technologies used in the Israeli water market are advanced desalination technologies which convert salt water into fresh water suitable for human consumption and irrigation. Waste water and water treatment is another technology which recycles wastewater into reusable water for consumption and other needs.