By Aryeh Savir
Israel has experienced this winter the worst drought recorded in modern history. Since the mega snow storm in the beginning of December there has been no significant rainfall. Israel’s Water Authority has noted with some degree of alarm that the drought is the harshest around its main water bodies, in the north and in Samaria. Israeli’s Meteorological Service (IMS) stated that this winter has been the driest since records began more than 70 years ago, some of them even for more than 100 years as rainfall reports in Jerusalem date back to the mid 19th century. Precipitation totals were less than 20% of the normal in many parts of the country.
“Such extreme dryness has never been recorded”, a spokesperson for the Water Authority said, “We should also remember that last year’s winter ended early, with less rainfall than usual.” The full extent of the drought will only be determined at the end of the season.
These severe conditions are felt not only in Israel, but throughout the entire Middle East. Australia, China and some areas in the US are experiencing droughts as well. California authorities have recently announced a cut-back in water supply for agriculture.
Israel has made preparations for such a scenario and there will be no need for a diminishing of its water supply. “Thanks to outstanding measures and vast investments made by the State of Israel in its water economy over the past years Israel is no longer dependent solely on rainfall. Integrative administration of the water resources together with the construction of desalination plants and purification and reclamation of treated waste water enables us today to fully provide all private and industrial segments with the water they require, and they no longer are required to take drastic measure such as the destruction of crops, like in the past,” they said at the Water Authority. Israel is the number one leader in the world in the field of purification and reclamation of treated waste water and its water technologies are sought around the world.
“The State of Israel, together with the Water Authority, has made preparations for the developing circumstances we are now experiencing: prolonged and extreme droughts. Thanks to these prior arrangements Israel will not experience a water crisis and will provide water to all its consumers,” they concluded.
Tazpit News Agency