Despite the fact that water covers three quarters of Earth's
surface, countries all over the world suffer from potential or
current water shortages. Water consumption well outpaces supply,
particularly in arid nations that struggle to meet their
agricultural water needs. Israel, as a nation more than 50 percent
covered in desert, has grappled with this problem since its
beginnings. The technologies it has developed in response allow it
to flourish, and it is doing more every year to expand those
technologies around the world.
Technologies to Gain Usable Water
The two ways to adjust to the conditions that lead to water
shortages are straightforward: creating more usable water and
conserving the water that is available. Israel has long worked for
ways to get the most out of the water available to it. Mekoret, for
example, is a state-owned company that focuses on all aspects of
water provision. It has created and applied water desalination
techniques, deep drilling techniques, and an abundance of water
treatment and purification techniques that increase the total
amount of water available to the country. It has been developing
the technologies it uses for over 50 years. Other private companies
like Amiad Water Systems focus on particular aspects of the
process–filtration in Amiad's case.
Ways to Use Less Water
Cleaning and reusing water provides an important strategy that
nations are learning to use more and more efficiently, often
following the leadership Israel provides in this area. The
country's best known water technology, though, is drip
irrigation. This technique focuses on applying water directly to
crops, rather than flooding the area. The concept, led by Netafim,
is that you should use only the amount of water needed for the
plants consuming it, rather than enough to flood the entire area.
While the precise savings has yet to be scientifically determined,
the concept in a world where 80 percent of water usage is
agricultural holds significant promise.
Israel's leadership in water technology provides a fertile
source for startups and investment opportunities that stand to help
the world address an ongoing environmental problem. Barnea &
Co. has broad experience in guiding investment strategies and legal
considerations in water tech areas.
Originally published October 6, 2016
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