The new Israeli export: water technology

The Israeli water industry took over the convention center here this week to show the world its bacterial sewage scrubbers and computerized shower heads, its low-flow nipples to grow high-yield tomatoes, and its early-warning mathematical algorithms to detect dribbles, leaks and bursts.

It might not have been the sexiest business conference in a country that refers to itself as “start-up nation,” but there’s a lot of money in water.

Israel wants to be seen in the water world the same admiring way it is viewed in the realm of high-tech. The country’s exports of water products have tripled in the past five years and now total $2 billion, according to Israel’s economic ministry. Its biggest customer is the United States, but new markets are opening in countries with an emerging middle class, such as Mexico, Turkey, China and India.

Because of Israel’s history of scarcity, isolation and resourcefulness, it has the jump in water management and conservation.

Here is more, and it is time to have a good long read article on Israeli water policy and technology.  Here are three bits:

Israel recycles more than 80 percent of its effluents, compared with about 1 percent in the United States, the governor said.


Israel is a world leader in desalination of seawater. By next year, more than a third of Israel’s tap water will come from the Mediterranean Sea and a few briny wells. Israel’s total water consumption remains nearly at 1964 levels — even though its population has quadrupled to 8 million people, according to the economic ministry.


There are 280 water technology companies in Israel.

Here is further background on Israeli water policy.  One obvious element here, of course, is that water policy for Israel is a matter of national security.


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