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June 25, 2015
 
 

Join us for Israel’s WATEC Conference-Oct 13th-15th, 2015, Tel Aviv, Israel

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October 13th to 15th, 2015, hundreds will convene in Tel Aviv for Israel’s biennial WATEC conference, an international gathering of business executives, water utility engineers, political decision makers and leading researchers in the field of water technology.  One may ask, why travel all the way to Israel, a country composed of over 50 per cent desert, to learn about water? The answer lies in Israel’s history.

Israel’s water shortage has defined its existence since its founding days. The mass waves of immigration of the 1940s and 50s could not be sustained by the semi-arid desert climate with a  limited supply of fresh water, the main source being the Sea of Galilee, only 166 km2. Every year, the southern part of the country received less than 200 mm of rain, and every year, Israelis prayed for more. Though prayers were answered, they were not enough to fulfill the economic and agricultural needs of a growing nation.

Over the years, scarce water supply was further limited by geopolitical circumstances and reoccurring droughts. Fifteen years ago, during one of Israel’s worst dry spells, Israelis grew accustomed to keeping a strict shower time limit, and were encouraged by the Minister of Agriculture to take joint showers to conserve water. The catch phrase, "make every drop count" became an awareness campaign to inform Israelis about the dire water situation. 

Today, almost seven decades after Israel’s establishment, an area of weakness has become the driving force behind one of Israel’s greatest success stories. With a population of 8.2 million, and land two-thirds the size of Vancouver Island, Israel has a robust and dynamic industrial sector with an excess amount of water to supply its needs, and even more to export to its neighbours. 

In the past decade, desalination has become one of the government’s leading efforts, with four plants operating across the country and a fifth on its way, which will produce together, a total of over 4.9 million cubic meters annually. Today, nearly 50 per cent of the water for household consumption, agriculture and industry is artificially produced. 86 per cent of domestic wastewater is recycled for agricultural use. Spain in second place, recycles 17 per cent of its wastewater, while the United States only recycles one per cent.  

Israel’s water expertise is no secret to the world and continues to become an area in which the country’s entrepreneurial spirit is a driving for international cooperation. Drip irrigation, perhaps Israel’s most known innovation, has been a source of Israeli cooperation around the world since Netafim, the Israeli company founded in 1965, became a global exporter to developed as well as developing countries. Israel is currently working with the State of California to grapple with extreme drought and recently partnered with Canada, to cooperate on an agricultural project in the Ukraine. Israeli expertise can be found today in every corner of the world.

Israel’s thriving water technology industry, with over 600 water technology companies and more than 100 startups that specialize in waste water management, water reuse, desalination and water security amongst other areas; all-encompassing an industry of approximately 2 billion dollars in exports annually.

One of the best channels to Israeli water solutions and investments is via Oded Distel, director of the government-run NEWtech, a nine year old initiative aimed at promoting Israel’s water and sustainable energy sectors by supporting research and helping Israeli companies succeed in the international arena.

Every two years, Israel is home to WATEC, an international conference that brings together leading experts and industry leaders in the field of water to learn from Israeli expertise and find opportunity for joint investment and cooperation.  

This conference promises to feature the most advanced technologies and solutions from Israel and around the world, as an excellent opportunity to form international partnerships that will work towards solving the world’s growing climate and water issues.  

We invite you to join us for WATEC 2015.  For more information, please visit: http://watec-israel.com/ 
For any further questions or assistance, please contact the Embassy of Israel: info@ottawa.mfa.gov.il  

 

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