Israel top in recycling water, bottom in renewable energy

Solar energy  picture: Eyal Yitzhar

Israel has the best record in the OECD in recycling wastewater and the worst record in producing electricity from renewable sources.

The proportion of Israel's population not connected to wastewater recycling is one of the lowest among the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to a quality of life report published today. The proportion of people not hooked up to wastewater recycling in Israel fell from 7.7% in 2000 (485,000 people) to 2.2% in 2014 (180,000 people). Most of the people not connected to water recycling live in unrecognized Bedouin communities or East Jerusalem. The proportion of people connected to tertiary (the highest level) of wastewater treatment rose from 33.6% in 2000 to 51.7% in 2014.

Israel's management of its water sector has won praise around the world. In an interview published in "Globes last October, Seth Siegel, author of "Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World," explained how Israel had changed from a small new country with a desert climate to what water specialists are now calling "a water superpower." He asserts that Israel has the world's best and most sophisticated water management system, and has worked hard to achieve this status. Israel recycles water, desalinizes seawater and brackish water, takes advantage of floodwater, educates its population about correct consumption, makes efficient use of water in industry and agriculture, invests in finding leaks and reducing water depreciation in municipal and rural pipes, etc.

In contrast to the water situation in Israel, the country's use of renewable energy is miserably poor. According to the quality of life report, Israel is in last place in the OECD in the proportion of total energy attributable to renewable energy production (as of 2013). While Iceland produces all of its electricity from renewable energy, Spain 39%, and the OECD as a whole 21%, less than 1% of Israel's electricity comes from renewable energy. The proportion has risen to just 2% in the past three years, leaving Israel still trailing far behind the other countries.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 16, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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Solar energy  picture: Eyal Yitzhar
Solar energy picture: Eyal Yitzhar
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